Cambodia's 'lost city' uncovered

17th Jun 2013

A 1,200-year "lost city" has been unearthed in Cambodia - thanks to a combination of new and ancient techniques.

The quest started properly when a helicopter team using Lidar technology, which employs pulsing infrared laser signals to see through thick undergrowth, saw a distinct outline of the the long-forgotten city.

The Sydney Morning Herald, which reported the hunt exclusively, said that archaeologists then hacked through thick jungle, strewn with live land mines and thick with mountain mist.

Mahendraparvata, the city they found, is believed to pre-date one of Asia's most celebrated cultural sites, the huge Hindu temple Angkor Wat, by about 350 years.

The "lost city" lies only 25 miles west of Angkor Wat, a great favourite among holidaymakers on group tours, attracting two-million visitors annually.

Scientists think Mahendraparvata was the first city of the Angkor Empire in 802 AD.

Damian Evans, director of the University of Sydney's archaeological research centre in Cambodia, told the Morning Herald it was "remarkable" when the city appeared on his screen.

So his team headed into Cambodia's mountain countryside and uncovered an entire urban landscape with canals, roads, caves and, as yet unexplained, mounds which may be tombs.

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