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Researchers discover hidden city around Angkor Wat, Cambodia

With the help of modern technology researchers were able to gain insight into the lost city of Mahendraparvata located near the UNESCO World Heritage site Angkor Wat. Airborne lasers helped to produce a detailed three dimensional map of the city giving fresh insight into one of Southeast Asia's greatest wonders.

Researchers discover hidden city around Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Using the latest airborne laser technology, researchers have discovered a complex network of roads and canals linking the lost city of Mahendraparvata to the nearby Angkor Wat temple complex in Cambodia.

The findings were announced on Monday 17th June 2013 in a peer reviewed paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal.

Of the discovery resident archeologist at the University of Sydney, Damian Evans stated, "No one had ever mapped the city in any kind of detail before, and so it was a real revelation to see the city revealed in such clarity, It's really remarkable to see these traces of human activity still inscribed into the forest floor many, many centuries after the city ceased to function and was overgrown".

With a reported 18 per cent growth in March 2013 compared to the same month in 2012, Cambodia bookings for tours and holidays are on the rise and much of Camobdia's recent success in tourism is owed to the interest in World Heritage site Angkor Wat.

The tourist attraction has consistently earned rave reviews on Tripadvisor "This has got to be the most amazing place we have ever visited! Not sure if you can really put in to words what you see at Angkor Wat" noted one traveller. "Angkor Wat is probably the main reason for a trip to this part of the world and it certainly is well worth the visit" stated another holidaymaker. This widely publicized discovery is likely to generate further interest in Cambodia and Southeast Asia.

The technology used to map the city is known as lidar and works by sending laser pulses to the ground from an aircraft; these pulses help to create a detailed three-dimensional map of the area. Lidar technology has previously been used to explore other sites of interest including the UK's Stonehenge.

"The real revelation is to find that the downtown area is densely inhabited, formally-planned and bigger than previously thought. To see the extent of things we missed before has completely changed our understanding of how these cities were structured" noted archeologist Damian Evans.

This breakthrough will likely give travellers fresh insight and appreciation into the ancient city that has captivated the imaginations of archeologists, historians and travellers alike.

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