Archaeologists have discovered an ancient ‘lost city’ in Cambodia. The city was once the capital of the Khmer Empire within Cambodia. Mahendraparvata, or the Mountain of Indra, King Of Gods, was found by researchers during an on-the-ground survey using overhead laser scanning. The site was one of the earliest of the ancient empire, according to a recent report published by archaeology journal, Antiquity.
The temples of the massive city were built from bricks and stones which left their imprint on the earth. This led researchers to the site. The imprint brings to light the sophisticated urban planning system of the city. This included neighbourhoods, water management systems, agricultural networks and transportation links to other nearby cities.
Researchers are working to uncover more details about the lost city
Researchers are now trying to create a more accurate map of Phnom Kulen, the region in Cambodia where the Khmer Empire built many of their early cities, including Mahendraparvata. The Khmer Empire reportedly lasted from the ninth to 15th centuries. Before discovering the site, archaeologists often referred to Mahendraparvata as a ‘lost city’.This is because the only information they had was obtained from artefacts found at other sites around Cambodia.
An official report about the discovery stated: “The work described here effectively draws to a close 150 years of archaeological mapping work in the Greater Angkor region and sets the stage for more sophisticated spatio-temporal modelling of urban form.”
The Khmer Empire is famous for the Angkor Wat
It is believed that the city was one of the first engineered landscapes during the era. Further study could reveal more about the Khmer Empire which is presently famous for the temple complex and current tourist attraction Angkor Wat.
The lost city’s sophisticated engineering and elaborate design did not help it survive long. In the years that followed, the Khmer Empire moved its centre of operations to Angkor, the new capital. This could have been perhaps due to better conditions for growing food in a less mountainous and challenging environment.