Lost Medieval Cities Discovered Underneath Cambodian Jungle

by Sankalan Baidya

Discovery of lost medieval cities can change the very course of history as we know it. That is precisely what is going to happen as archeologists have discovered vast expanses of lost medieval cities underneath the Cambodian jungle. These cities that have been discovered are close to Angkor Wat and as per the archeologists, these cities could be somewhere around 900 years to 1400 years old! So, what do you think? History books will change? Of course they will! Experts opine that these cities could be from one of the largest empires that existed during those times.

The Discovery of the Lost Medieval Cities

The discovery of the lost medieval cities is a result of years of work. The man behind this discovery is Dr. Damian Evans (an archeologist from Australia), who made use of lidar or Light Detection and Ranging equipment for scanning an area of 734 sq. miles. Well, that’s a very big area and how on earth did Dr. Evans manage to scan it? Well, he mounted the lidar equipment on a helicopter for this purpose and started the scan.

Lost medieval cities

Dr. Evans started scanning the area close to Angkor Wat – the temple city that is famous throughout this world. The first survey took place in 2012. That is when Dr. Evans manage to deliver something remarkable. He gave the map of Mahendraparvata – a big city whose existence was known to scholars but they never found any concrete evidence that could really prove the existence of the city.

Only in 2015 did Dr. Evans actually found the true extent of the lost medieval cities of Cambodia using the lidar equipment. According to Dr. Evans, the lidar equipment suddenly presented the whole cityscape with amazing complexity. He said that we actually walked over and flew over this whole cityscape for a period of 10 long years and we really didn’t realize what was hidden beneath and that was because of the vegetation.

Lost medieval cities

What Dr. Evans Has to Say About Lost Medieval Cities

According to Dr. Evans, what really appears to be lumps and bumps randomly scattered on the ground may actually be built-up roadways and excavated ponds and together they may actually form a whole network of temple cities and may be, some of these cities can actually rival Phenom Penh as far as size is concerned.

The images that Dr. Evans managed to create (thanks to lidar equipment) show that the cities had a very well-designed network of water management and that will mean that water management was very much real hundreds of years well before it was thought to be even possible by historians. He says that we have really undermined the fact that humans have shaped their whole environment to a great extent.

Lost medieval cities

We have learned about the Khmer Empire and we assumed that it declined in 15th century. The question is, did that really happen? The Guardian spoke to Dr. Evans where he said,

There’s an idea that somehow the Thais invaded and everyone fled down south – that didn’t happen, there are no cities [revealed by the aerial survey] that they fled to. It calls into question the whole notion of an Angkorian collapse.

Currently archeologists have images presented by Dr. Evans’ lidar equipment and they now have more clues as to where to search for the history of Cambodian temple cities. Of course it won’t be easy to rewrite the whole history quickly. It will take some time, in fact, a lot of time but over the course of time, history books will change and so will the tour guide as hundreds and thousands of Khmer-speaking people will not find a place in Cambodian history and that will mean a remarkable achievement.


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1 comment

hhhhiiii September 10, 2016 - 1:29 am



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