Medieval cities in Cambodia have been uncovered by archeologists in a discovery that could rewrite the Southeast Asian country's history, The Guardian reported
Multiple cities dating between 900 and 1,400 years old were revealed beneath the jungle floor with help from laser-scanning technology, and some are as large as Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh, according to the U.K. newspaper.
Australian archaeologist Damian Evans conducted the study in 2015 as a follow-up to a smaller survey in 2012, first confirming suspicions that there was a city beneath Mount Kulen.
"It turns out, we uncovered only a part of Mahendraparvata on Phnom Kulen," Evans said of the 2012 survey, adding, "This time we got the whole deal and it’s big, the size of Phnom Penh big.”
Mahendraparvata is an ancient temple city near Angkor Wat, a UNESCO World Heritage site considered one of the ancient wonders of the world, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation noted
. It was built in the mid-1100s during the reign of King Suryavarman II of the Khmer Empire.
Evans' study used airborne laser-scanning technology known as lidar (Light Detection and Ranging), and revealed the "astonishing complexity" of the cityscape with precision and detail, ABC reported.
The 2015 study covered about 734 square miles and revealed how people diverted rivers and cut down forests hundreds of years ago, according to The Washington Post.
"The broad conclusion to draw from this is that we've underestimated how much humans have shaped their environments," Evans told The Post.
Laser-scanning technology attached under a helicopter was able to see through the dense vegetation of the jungle floor, Tech Times explained
The technology promises to make future excavations less time-consuming, according to Tech Times, which noted that lidar was also used to create a detailed model of the Culloden battlefield in Scotland.
Twitter users seemed intrigued by the discovery.
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