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Cambodia forum

The lost city of Mahendraparvata

Posted by somtam2000 on 14/6/2013 at 20:58 admin

The Sydney Morning Herald has a huge story on the rediscovery of the Khmer city of Mahendraparvata which predates Angkor by 350 years. Huge news.

You can read the full story here.

#1 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,436
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Posted by fondo on 15/6/2013 at 03:00

Certainly is exciting news. Will be interesting to see how the Cambodians manage it - maybe.

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Posted by somtam2000 on 15/6/2013 at 05:34 admin

Just a small update on this, I heard from one of the expedition leaders, Damian Evans via Twitter and he said

"The city we found in Phnom Kulen using lidar technology has never been reported before, it's new."

It's quite astonishing considering it is on Phnom Kulen only 40 km from Angkor Wat -- makes you wonder what else is out there.

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Posted by SBE on 15/6/2013 at 05:56

And how long it will remain unlooted.

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Posted by somtam2000 on 15/6/2013 at 06:35 admin

More still, this webpage belonging to one of those involved in the discovery, Stephane De Greef, gives more information on the LiDAR tech that was used to assist in finding the site. Interesting stuff!

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Posted by MADMAC on 16/6/2013 at 04:26

Very interesting story. Curious that only religious structures were made of Brick. My thai teacher and I were talking about that today. Mukdahan has no truly old surviving structures. The city itself is an old settlement, but no old buildings exist, because wood was the preferred building material and the tropics are not kind to wooden structures.

SBE - in the words of Kelly" "Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here? Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?"

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Posted by busylizzy on 16/6/2013 at 05:09

I don't think she's being particularly negative, just realistic. Angkor Wat was pretty badly looted over the years.

What amazed me in watching the video is how they are just crashing through unexplored jungles. I would have thought landmines were a major threat to them - but there was no mention of it.

Interesting story to think places like this are still undiscovered.

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Posted by caseyprich on 16/6/2013 at 06:50

watch your step

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Posted by MADMAC on 16/6/2013 at 10:31

"I don't think she's being particularly negative, just realistic."

Everyone who is negative says they are being realistic. It was the only thing she mentioned.

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Posted by SBE on 17/6/2013 at 00:56

Hey Somtam. Did my comment in #4 seem overly negative to you?

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Posted by sayadian on 17/6/2013 at 05:17

For the record I thought you were showing concern for something that' s a distinct possibilty in a country with such a dreadful record of corruption.
It's the military mindset-eternal positivity.
General Douglas Hague springs to mind.
;-)

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Posted by MADMAC on 17/6/2013 at 11:24

I think it beats the mindset of eternal negativity. I mean, the only comment was a negative one. How about something about how the cool the find is? Seriously, I'm not ragging on SBE, but am I the only one who's noticed that the world print media (and other styles) is a barrage of negativity? It's one negative thing after another. The world doesn't totally suck.

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Posted by SBE on 17/6/2013 at 13:57

Thank you Sayadian. That reminds me of my favourite oxymoron....military intelligence. ;-)

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Posted by MADMAC on 17/6/2013 at 20:21

Of course, the military can't function without intelligence. Well, I suppose to a degree it coud. If could just have a scorched earth policy and kill anything and everything alive in its area of operations. Then you wouldn't need intelligence. Just kill 'em all. Women, children, dogs, cats, everything. Then you don't need intelligence.

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Posted by SBE on 18/6/2013 at 01:55

What a little ray of sunshine you are MM.

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Posted by somtam2000 on 18/6/2013 at 02:15 admin

Sorry late in on this - just back from Burma and sick as a dog.

Can we keep the discussion on topic - please?

@SBE - not overly negative I guess, but it was an amazing discovery ;-)

Most of the looting that ravaged the Cambodian sites took place years ago -- wholesale looting post KR period of large sites is quite rare (thanks in part to higher media interest & awareness).

As an aside the Cambodia Daily had a story today noting that the ruins haven't been rediscovered at all -- suggesting the Sydney Morning Herald got a little over excited -- who'd have thought ;)

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Posted by SBE on 18/6/2013 at 04:32

What struck me as I was watching the Fairfax media movie was that the archeologists kept mentioning how extraordinary it was to find a site like this that had been left totally undisturbed and unlooted.

Then they showed us all a map of where things were.

At one point the chef archeologist (I think) was standing in someone's rice field saying that there was a temple underneath but that even the locals living there were totally unaware of it's existence and that's why it had never been dug up.

I couldn't help thinking, well I expect they all know where it is now. And if I owned that rice field I might be tempted to have a little poke round once the foreign film crew and archeologists had left. There are tens of thousands of rich tourists with money burning holes in their pockets just down the road at Angkor Wat who might be interested in buying a few souvenirs.

Which got me to wondering why there was a Fairfax media film crew tagging along with the archeologists in the first place. Looks like excavations haven't even started yet. Why are the archeologists jeopardizing their work with all this publicity? On that first link you posted, the Sydney Morning Herald had "World exclusive" at the top of the page but Fairfax media (who own the newspaper) seem to have sold the story and video to anyone who'll buy it. Even Fox News were covering the story.

LiDAR imaging technology is a very expensive piece of kit, not in the budget of most archeologists. Maybe Fairfax media were paying for it? I tried to find out on Google scholar but the paper doesn't seem to be out yet. (Publication date is sometime in the second half of June apparently)

However while I was rummaging about looking for that, I stumbled across another example of how LiDAR has been used to find lost cities. Seems the mythical lost city of Ciudad Blanca has recently been "rediscovered" in the jungles of Honduras too.

Interesting little write up here.

http://www.businessinsider.com/ciudad-blanca-honduras-lidar-images-2013-5#ixzz2WYMKNfMH

Apparently that project was funded by a film company called UTL who wanted to make an exciting documentary about the discovery of a mythical lost city. There seems to be some doubt about whether Ciudad Blanca was actually "rediscovered" too.

PS If you fancy yourself as an Indiana Jones type and don't mind the risk of having one or more legs blown off or trampling all over priceless archeological relics, I notice Google Scholar has kindly brought out a "how to get to Phnom Kulen" travel guide. Getting there looks dead simple and straightforward to me. Motodop from SR + dodgy $20 entrance fee.

http://www.alsocan.com.au/writings/travel-culture-1st-millenium-pre-angkor-temple.pdf








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Posted by MADMAC on 18/6/2013 at 09:30

"What a little ray of sunshine you are MM."

I have my moments little sister.

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