Multiple, previously undocumented medieval cities not far from the ancient temple city of Angkor Wat have been discovered, the Guardian reported.
The report said the groundbreaking discoveries may completely change key assumptions about south-east Asia’s history.
The Guardian reported that Australian archaeologist Dr Damian Evans has used airborne laser scanning technology to reveal multiple cities between 900 and 1,400 years old beneath the tropical forest floor. Some of the revealed cities rival the size of Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh.
The Guardian reported on its website that Evans will publish his findings in the Journal of Archaeological Science on Monday.
Some experts believe that the recently analysed data shows that the colossal, densely populated cities would have constituted the largest empire on earth at the time of its peak in the 12th century, the Guardian said. The data has been captured in 2015 during the most extensive airborne study ever undertaken by an archaeological project, covering 734 sq miles (1,901 sq km).
“We have entire cities discovered beneath the forest that no one knew were there – at Preah Khan of Kompong Svay and, it turns out, we uncovered only a part of Mahendraparvata on Phnom Kulen [in the 2012 survey] … this time we got the whole deal and it’s big, the size of Phnom Penh big,” the Guardian quoted Evans as saying.