The biggest Southeast Asian Archaeology-related news to come out of last week was the discovery of the extent of urban sprawl on Phnom Kulen using LiDAR. It generated a lot of buzz, with many news outlets calling it the discovery of a “lost city” and giving it the name Mahendrapvarta. I redirect you to this blog post by friends and colleagues Alison Carter and Damian Evans about how some of the buzz has been lost in translation, or distorted by the media and what this discovery really means for the archaeology of Cambodia.
“Lost Cities” and the press
Alison in Cambodia, 23 June 2013
By Damien Evans:
So, to address the main question: did we know the city was there? Well, yes and no. As Alison explained very well above, we’ve known since the late nineteenth century that there were a few temples up there, and there are Angkor-era inscriptions that describe that the capital of Jayavarman II as being somewhere up there on the mountain.
But it is one thing to have a random scatter of points on the map and a handful of notoriously unreliable ancient texts, and a completely different thing altogether to have a comprehensive urban network of roads, canals, dams, residential neighborhoods (not to mention double the number of temples) uncovered and mapped for the very first time, with exceptional clarity.
Read the full post here.