'Lost City' Uncovered in Cambodia

Laser sensors map out Mahendraparvata
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jun 15, 2013 7:25 AM CDT
A screen grab from Fairfax Media video of the expedition.   (Fairfax Media/The Age)

(Newser) – Deep in the Cambodian jungle, Australian archaeologists have made a major discovery: a 1,200-year-old lost city, NPR reports. They made their find using laser sensors known as Lidar, which outlined the city, called Mahendraparvata. "With this instrument—bang—all of a sudden we saw an immediate picture of an entire city that no one knew existed," one of the archaeologists tells the Age. Atop a mountain, Mahendraparvata belonged to the Khmer Empire of southeast Asia, which dates between 800 and 1400 AD, NPR notes.

Researchers then made their way to the site itself, using the Lidar data to navigate—along with help from an ex-Khmer Rouge soldier who lost a leg to landmines. The team discovered temple sites, signs of canals and roads, a cave full of ancient carvings, and a series of mounds that remain unexplained. "We are still trying to work out what these things were," says a researcher; tombs are one possibility. The Age has more.

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