Angkor, the ancient capital of the Khmer Empire, has been mapped for the first time using laser light.
The technique called LIDAR, which uses billions of reflected light beams to map the topography below a thick forest canopy, revealed that the city was even more massive than previously thought.
The new analysis “shows there were hundreds, if not thousands of settlements, mounds, ponds, roads and urban blocks which actually organized a quite dense city,” said study co-author Christophe Pottier, an archaeologist and co-director of the Greater Angkor Project. “This area of dense occupation was much bigger than what we were expecting.”
The findings were published today (July 8) in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Read more.