A lost city estimated to have existed some 1,200 years ago has been discovered in Cambodia. The city, called Mahendraparvata, is located in Cambodia’s Siem Reap region, near Angkor Wat, the largest Hindi temple in the world.
The French-led expedition that discovered the site used a new form of airborne laser technology called lidar, which mapped the jungle beneath the canopy using billions of laser pulses. Slowly, a map of the city was formed, revealing two dozen previously undiscovered temples and evidence of an extensive road system and waterway.
Researchers are now trying to determine what destroyed the city and how it remained hidden for so long. Damian Evans, of the University of Sydney, believes water systems could have played a major roll. “One theory we are looking at is that the severe environmental impact of deforestation and the dependence on water management led to the demise of the civilization,” he announced. “Perhaps it became too successful to the point of becoming unmanageable.”