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Spiral structures revealed at Angkor from LiDAR data

Moving away from the discoveries around Phnom Kulen to the discoveries around Angkor proper, the LiDAR data around Angkor Wat reveal some pretty interesting features themselves, including some spiral shaped architecture to the south of the moat. Here’s a story from the Phnom Penh Post, and a post from Alison in Cambodia (disclosure: a personal friend) who is currently working on excavations at Angkor Wat under the Greater Angkor Project.

LiDAR imaging from Angkor Wat

LiDAR imaging from Angkor Wat

Ancient angkor spiral mystery
Phnom Penh Post, 21 June 2013

The city around Angkor Wat
Alison in Cambodia, 30 June 2013

Archaeological researchers have discovered giant inexplicable spiral features protruding from the ground just south of Angkor Wat.

The shapes, several kilometres across but just tens of centimetres high, have no obvious purpose and have left researchers baffled.

Archaeologist Dr Damian Evans from the University of Sydney discovered six spiral-like shapes from an aerial topographic survey of the land with a vegetation penetrating sensor.

His data shows three intact shapes which look like square spirals, and three features almost entirely demolished by an Angkorian canal.

“We still don’t know what these features are. There would have been six at one stage – it’s difficult to reconstruct because it’s a very complicated palimpsest, the aggregation of several cities in the same area over the course of several centuries,” Evans said.

Read more here and here.

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