Uncovering more of Angkor Wat

So far National Geographic and the BBC News are running some amazing archaeological news coming out from Cambodia’s Angkor Wat.

Radar image of central Angkor area“…Jungle-penetrating radar has revealed traces of vast suburban sprawl surrounding the many temples and the walled central city of Angkor Thom.

Extensive waterworks threaded through the low-density development, channeling the flow of three rivers through agricultural fields, homes, and local temples.

In the end, residents of greater Angkor likely struggled with the ecological consequences of transforming the landscape.

The new survey found breached spillways and canals clogged with silt, suggesting that environmental degradation made the infrastructure increasingly difficult to maintain…

…At more than 3,000 square kilometers (1,160 square miles) it is the largest settlement ever found from the preindustrial world, the authors say.

“The scale is really unlike anything else,” said archaeologist William Saturno of Boston University, noting that it dwarfs the large Mesoamerican cities that are the subject of his own work.”

This should be an interesting read, the largest preindustrial settlement ever found is quite a claim. I can see that. 3,000 sq. km is a lot of area. Damian Evans of the University of Sydney, is the lead author of this finding, and the work will be published in PNAS soon. Until the paper comes out, I’ll leave ya with some other archaeological discoveries made using satellite imagery:

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