Archaeological digs at Cambodia’s Angkor Wat offer new clues to its civilization’s decline

The process was much longer and more complex than previously imagined — Angkor’s collapse may be better described as a transformation.

Cambodia’s famous temple of Angkor Wat is one of the world’s largest religious monuments, visited by over 2 million tourists each year.

It was built in the early 12th century by King Suryavarman II, one of the most famous kings of the Angkorian civilization that lasted from approximately the ninth to 15th centuries. The structure is so strongly associated with Cambodian identity even today that it appears on the nation’s flag.

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