Aerial radar sizes up ancient urban sprawl

Aerial radar sizes up ancient urban sprawl

Angkor, capital of Cambodia's Khmer empire, grew extensive suburbs inhabited by rice farmers

By Bruce Bower, 10:41 AM June 20, 2013

Laser pulses beamed from a low-flying airplane into northwestern Cambodia’s dense jungles have revealed ancient remnants of extensive, carefully planned settlements of rice farmers. These settlements were part of Angkor, the capital of the region’s Khmer empire.

Angkor flourished from around 900 to 1500, but forests now obscure much of the city’s urban sprawl. Laser technology called lidar has now seen through the jungle to the ground. It shows that, starting around 1100, roadways and canal...

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