Climate change, over-building doomed Khmer kingdom

The Australia fleshes out how climate change affected Angkor. Details of the uncovered water management system are revealed.

14 March 2007 (The Australian) – An addendum to the previous post, The Australia fleshes out how climate change affected Angkor. Details of the uncovered water management system are revealed.

Climate change, over-building doomed Khmer kingdom

Two enormous masonry structures discovered near Cambodia’s fabled temples of Angkor Wat provide rock hard evidence that the once powerful Khmer kingdom vanished because of over-building, environmental damage and climate change.
One of the newfound structures was a 40m by 80m spillway. The other was a 100m by 40m outlet channel that, like the spillway, was part of the elaborate water system that served the sprawling agricultural city of Angkor.
“There are considerable implications for our understanding of our own water management systems,” cautioned Sydney University archaeologist Roland Fletcher, head of the team that discovered the huge objects.

“These two structures demonstrate very high levels of hydraulic engineering,” added Associate Professor Fletcher, director of the Greater Angkor Project, a five-year collaboration between the university, French researchers and the Cambodian agency managing Angkor.

“The Khmer engineers used their expertise in masonry construction to build these structures that managed water flows for the entire city,” he claimed.


Related Books:
Uncovering Southeast Asia’s Past: Selected Papers from the 10th International Conference of the European Association of Southeast Asian Archaeologists by E. A. Bacus, I. Glover and V. C. Pigott (Eds)

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Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

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