Aerial Laser Scans Uncover Hidden Early Capital of the Khmer Empire

Archaeologists in Cambodia have used jungle-penetrating laser to confirm the location and layout of an ancient capital city associated with the early stages of the Khmer Empire.

Researchers from the French Institute of Asian Studies and APSARA, Cambodia’s management authority for Angkor Archaeological Park, have used LIDAR to pinpoint the exact location of Mahendraparvata—an early Angkorian city and one of the first capital cities associated with the Khmer Empire. The ancient city, which dates back to the 8th and 9th century CE, was spotted in the dense jungles of Cambodia’s Phnom Kulen mountains. Details of the discovery were published today in the science journal Antiquity.

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