A team of archaeologists have uncovered a vast network of “ancient, hidden, underground cities” lost in the Cambodian jungle for hundreds of years.
The cities were found close to the 12th century temple-city of Angkor Wat and are thought to be between 900 and 1,400 years old, suggesting that Angkor’s Khmer empire (802 -1431) was the biggest in the world at that time.
Archaeologists led by Dr. Damian Evans discovered water systems — which are now thought to be centuries older than first thought — using hi-tech laster scanners.
“We have entire cities discovered beneath the forest that no one knew were there,” said Evans.
The cities are said to be the size of Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh, which has a population of 1.5 million.
“[The discovery] also provides some fascinating new insights on the ‘collapse’ of Angkor. There’s an idea that somehow the Thais invaded and everyone fled down south — that didn’t happen.”
“It calls into question the whole notion of an Angkorian collapse,” adds Evans.
The incredible discovery could be about to rewrite long-held beliefs about South East Asia’s history and finally establish the exact cause of the hugely powerful and wealthy Khmer empire’s collapse.