The Hidden Paintings of Angkor Wat

Enhanced painting from Angkor Wat

It’s strange to post a news story that I was directly involved in, but in the interests of archiving (see also here), my paper on the invisible paintings of Angkor Wat was published last week in the journal Antiquity. It’s been receiving lots of interest, which I’ve been really happy about, and I’ll post something about my own personal experience about it in a later post. (Edit: I’ve received a fair bit of media coverage already – so maybe I’ll not talk about it later.)

Enhanced painting from Angkor Wat
Enhanced painting from Angkor Wat

The Hidden Paintings of Angkor Wat
Antiquity, Vol 88

Hidden Paintings Revealed at Ancient Temple of Angkor Wat
Live Science, 27 May 2014

The Invisible Graffiti of Angkor Wat
Science, 27 May 2014

Angkor Wat’s Hidden Paintings Revealed with Digital Technique
Scientific American, 28 May 2014

Angkor still has secrets to reveal
Phnom Penh Post, 29 May 2014

More Than 200 Hidden Paintings Were Discovered on the Walls of Angkor Wat
Smithsonian, 29 May 2014

The hidden graffiti of Angkor Wat: Nasa technology reveals more than 200 hidden paintings of gods and elephants on temples
Daily Mail, 29 May 2014

Century-old graffiti discovered at Angkor Wat
Science Alert, 29 May 2014

A Forgotten History of Angkor Wat Revealed in its Vandalism
Hyperallergenic.com, 29 May 2014

Hidden paintings of Angkor Wat appear in digital images
New Scientist, 29 May 2014

An Algorithm Revealed 200 Lost Paintings on Angkor Wat’s Ancient Walls
Gizmodo, 29 May 2014

Over 200 Paintings Discovered in Cambodia’s Angkor Wat
Time, 29 May 2014

NASA technology reveals mystery graffiti on walls of ancient jungle temple
Houston Chronicle, 30 May 2014

Paintings Provide Glimpse of Post-Angkorian Life
Cambodia Daily, 31 May 2014

The temple of Angkor Wat in Cambodia is one of the most famous monuments in the world and is noted for its spectacular bas-relief friezes depicting ceremonial and religious scenes. Recent work reported here has identified an entirely new series of images consisting of paintings of boats, animals, deities and buildings. Difficult to see with the naked eye, these can be enhanced by digital photography and decorrelation stretch analysis, a technique recently used with great success in rock art studies. The paintings found at Angkor Wat seem to belong to a specific phase of the temple’s history in the sixteenth century AD when it was converted from a Vishnavaite Hindu use to Theravada Buddhist.

Related Posts

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.

2 thoughts on “The Hidden Paintings of Angkor Wat”

  1. You’ve finally made it to your own website!! Congrats!! ^_^

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *