Ta Prohm Excavation

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Alison Carter

Alison Carter

Alison Carter
Greater Angkor Project 2014
This photo is from the Greater Angkor Project excavation at Ta Prohm in June-July 2014. Dr. Miriam Stark, the project Co-Investigator, has been a great proponent of international cross-cultural collaboration, especially between Southeast Asian archaeologists. In this picture we have archaeologists from Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Germany, and Australia inspecting one of our excavation trenches. From left to right: Sovann Voeurn, Komnet Moul, Piphal Heng, Udomluck “Aom” Hoontrakul, Pipad “Kob” Krajaejun, Hannah Arnhold, Rachna Chhay, Ngaire Richards,and Quy Tran.

Alison Carter’s Day of Archaeology post at Ta Prohm

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My friend and colleague Dr Alison Carter is featured in the The Day of Archaeology, a project highlighting what archaeologists really do (hint: we don’t dig dinosaurs). Dr Carter is currently in Cambodia, working in the Ta Prohm temple.

The Greater Angkor Project at Ta Prohm, Cambodia
Day of Archaeology, 11 July 2014
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Uncovering Mahendrapvarta

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Over the weekend The Age had a feature on the discoveries of urban sprawl at Phnom Kulen, which predate Angkor by a few hundred years. I’ve had the pleasure of working with the Greater Angkor Project in recent years and it’s great to see the news of the excellent LiDAR data being released to the public. Certainly much more news to come from this region! Be sure to click on the first link to watch the video.

The lost city
The Age, 14 June 2013

Archaeologists Discover Lost City In Cambodian Jungle
NPR, 14 June 2013

Lost medieval city found in Cambodia
AFP, via ChannelNews Asia, 15 June 2013
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Combination of stresses led to fall of Angkor

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It wasn’t the silting up of the canals, or the rapid deforestation to make way for the urban complex, or the climate change, but rather a combination of all these stresses that culminated in the abandonment of Angkor in the 17th century. This was the conclusion delivered by researchers working on the Greater Angkor Project at the University of Sydney, possibly putting this archaeological mystery to rest. (But if you’ve been a faithful reader of this blog, you’d have known this already, wouldn’t you?)

Faces at Bayon
photo credit: Mendhak

Urban sprawl hastened Angkor’s collapse
24 June 2009, The Australian
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If you missed Angkor Wat on tv…

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If you missed the Angkor Wat edition of Digging for the Truth, it turns out that there are clips of the entire episode on YouTube! I caught it today at the morning repeat – it was pretty ok, covering the major monuments of Angkor, along with footage from the Greater Angkor Project and Cambodian Martial Art.

[youtube OzR8lFXigko]

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A city ahead of its time

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14 August 2007 (LA Times) – For any civilisation to thrive, the city must be located near a water source, and this water source must also be stable enough to sustain the production of food to feed its growing population. This article shows how Angkor, as a city, was able to manage its water in order to facilitate its growth – and how its failure could mean Angkor’s death. It’s also important to note that Angkor’s technical expertise seen in the light of the immense effort it takes to ‘grow’ a civilisation in the middle of a tropical jungle – just think of the Angkor today, overgrown with jungle and compare it with the Angkor that was mapped using radar and we see two very different places!

Angkor Wat was a city ahead of its time
The technology for harvesting water that enabled the Khmer to thrive also led to their fall, researchers say.
By Thomas H. Maugh II

The ancient Khmer city of Angkor in Cambodia was the largest preindustrial metropolis in the world, with a population near 1 million and an urban sprawl that stretched over an area similar to modern-day Los Angeles, researchers reported Monday.

The city’s spread over an area of more than 115 square miles was made possible by a sophisticated technology for managing and harvesting water for use during the dry season — including diverting a major river through the heart of the city.

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Angkor engineered its own demise

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14 Aug 2007 (News in Science) – Still more Angkor stories buzzing in the news, and I expect to be posting a few more similar stories today. This story focuses on the fall of Angkor and the failed water management system thesis.

Angkor engineered its own demise
Dani Cooper

An international team of archaeologists has used radar technology to confirm the Cambodian temple of Angkor Wat was surrounded by the pre-industrial world’s most extensive urban sprawl.

In today’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers report that NASA radar technology has helped reveal an ancient city, hidden beneath tropical vegetation.

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