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
Christophe Pottier, the director of EFEO at Siem Reap will leave the school for the University of Sydney, where he will be continuing his work as co-director of the Greater Angkor Project.
Farewell to an Angkor institutionn
Phnom Penh Post, 08 January 2010
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14 Aug 2007 (The Canberra Times) – Unsurprisingly, the Canberra Times focuses more on the Australian archaeologists who worked on this project, however the map was a collaborative effort between Australian, French and Cambodian archaeologists.
REVEALED: Australia’s raiders of the lost wat
Australian archaeologists using complex radar and satellite technology to map the medieval city of Angkor have discovered more than 70 new temples scattered across a vast area of farmland and forests in north-west Cambodia.
University of Sydney archaeologist Damian Evans said, “It’s huge. We’ve mapped a massive settlement stretching well beyond the main temples of the World Heritage tourist area in Siem Reap.
“We’ve found the city was roughly five times bigger than previously thought.”
14 Aug 2007 (The Daily Telegraph) – The article also features a slideshow of images that you should also check out.
Researchers map Angkor’s ancient sprawl
By Roger Highfield, Science Editor
The largest urban sprawl on the planet in medieval times was in fact 10 times bigger than thought, rivalling the size of Greater London.
Carpeted today with vegetation, obscured by a cloak of low-lying cloud and raided by thieves, Angkor in Cambodia once thrived between the 9th and 16th centuries, reaching a peak of many hundreds of thousands of people in the 13th century
14 March 2007 (News.com.au) – This isn’t exactly new news, because I posted something about this last year. Nonetheless, the story seems timely over the recent hype of climate change from Al Gore’s movie, An Inconvenient Truth.
City ‘killed by climate change’
Climate change was a key factor in the abandonment of Cambodia’s ancient city of Angkor, Australian archaeologists said today.
The city, home to more than 700,000 people and capital of the Khmer empire from about 900AD, was mysteriously abandoned about 500 years ago.
It has long been believed the Khmers deserted the city after a Thai army ransacked it, but University of Sydney archaeologists working at the site say a water crisis was the real reason it was left to crumble.
“It now appears the city was abandoned during the transition from the medieval warm period to the little ice age,” Associate Professor of Archaeology Roland Fletcher said.
Prof Fletcher said that to sustain a population of 750,000, the Khmers had a meticulously organised water management system.
But blockages found in two large structures that controlled the water system in central Angkor suggested the network had begun to break down late in the city’s history.
Prof Fletcher said the discoveries complemented previous field work that had led his team to conclude the city was abandoned when new monsoon patterns, brought about by climate change, had made the site unsustainable.
– 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)