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01.10.2014 On the other side of Angkor: “How the laser scanner helped to discover an ancient city”

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-29245289

Cambodia, one of the most mysterious countries of South-East Asia, is known not only for its Khmer Rouge, but for the lost ancient temple complex Angkor.

Angkor Wat, built approximately in 1150, is the largest religious complex in the world, covering an area four times larger than the Vatican. It is located deep in the Cambodian jungle, and the scientists could not reveal its secrets for many centuries.

Only new archaeological methods helped to find out that there was a set of temples and a complex boulevards network.

An international team of archaeologists, led by the Professor of Sydney University Damian Evans, held a study in less than two weeks, despite of the jungle density and a large number of mines left over from the civil war in Cambodia.

What was the secret of the scientists? It was the lidar or laser radar (complex laser scanning tool for remote sensing technology).

Lidar was installed on a helicopter, and the laser scanner sent millions of laser beams through the thick jungle when flying over the area every four seconds, recording minute changes in the surface topography. The results were stunning.

The airborne laser scanning method allowed discovering the ancient city of Angkor: red lines on pictures show modern communications, including roads and channels.

The archaeologists recovered urban landscapes imprinted on the forest soil, with temples, roads and complex ways, spread across the landscape.

These discoveries have profoundly changed our understanding of Angkor, the greatest medieval city in the world.

Laser scanner data explanation showed the outlines of the unknown temples and complex, and absolutely extensive boulevards network and sophisticated engineering communications.

Sharp fluctuations between very dry and wet conditions identified in the analysis of tree rings samples and laser-radar data prove the damage caused to important water supply system of the city with floods of catastrophic scale. Angkor slowly began to decline and never came back.

 

About  “EcoGeoTec” Company (Russia)

“EcoGeoTec” Company is a leading engineering company with a great experience in performing complex engineering survey and design works, turn-key project management, ensuring high level of control at all stages of their performance.

“EcoGeoTec” Company applies the most modern and high-performance methods for survey and design solutions, including aerial, surface and mobile laser scanning technology, digital aerial survey, radar, geo-radar, thermal-imaging and hyper spectral survey and high-tech software packages.  

 

Press Centre contact details:

Gitsba Aditsa

agitsba@ecogeotec.ru

Tel.:+7 (495) 212-18-22

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