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History enthusiasts would be well-aware of the rich legacy associated with the kingdom of Cambodia. The Khmer empire, which was one of the preeminent empires of the Southasian region had its centre in the country. An ancient “lost city’ of the Khmer empire has been rediscovered hidden under the lush Cambodian jungle
Aerial mapping has revealed traces of an ancient city, Mahendraparvata or the mountain of Indra. It is believed to be the first capital of the Khmer empire, which lasted from the 9th till the 15th century. Mahendraparvata has always been talked about in inscriptions and it was theorized that the ancient capital was buried under the dense forests of Cambodia, close to the Angkor Wat. Archeologists have known of its existence for decades and uncovered several artefacts speculated to be from that region, but there wasn’t enough evidence till now. A number of blocks arranged in a grid form have been uncovered at the site and reports also indicate that a hydraulic engineering project was started there which was never completed.
The EFEO, in collaboration with the Archaeology and Development Foundation in the UK and APSARA National Authority, a state run agency dedicated to the protection of Angkor Wat used airborne laser scanning and ground surveys to locate hidden city. The recent evolution in technology, especially the advent of LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) enabled the scientists to see through the thick vegetation and access the area.
According to experts, this is one of the most significant discoveries in recent years.
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