angkorwat100042623gallery500
IT & Systems Management

Calling Lara Croft: researchers use lasers to uncover lost jungle city

An Australian research team recently published the findings of an ambitious project to survey a patch of remote Cambodian jungle in order to map the ancient city of Mahendraparvata. The team used lasers mounted on helicopters to peer beneath the dense foliage and was able to uncover roads, highways, and a downtown of a once-bustling metropolitan area that predates the nation's top tourist destination: Angkor Wat.

The thing with nature is that unless it is battled on a constant basis, it tends to take over. And that is what happened to Mahendrapavata--it lost its fight with the jungle when it was mysteriously abandoned at some point in the distant past. To peer beneath the centuries of accumulated foliage and earth, the team shot laser pulses from a helicopter hovering 800 meters above ground and measured the reflecting signal. The technology, known as lidar, unveiled a 14-square-mile metropolitan area and previously undiscovered temples.

"No one had ever mapped the city in any kind of detail before, and so it was a real revelation to see the city revealed in such clarity," University of Sydney archaeologist Damian Evans told The Guardian. "It's really remarkable to see these traces of human activity still inscribed into the forest floor many, many centuries after the city ceased to function and was overgrown."

The same technology had been used to search for the fabled city of La Ciudad Blanca, thought to be hidden in the Honduran jungle.

PREVIOUS ARTICLE

« Nvidia updates programming tools to boost mobile device speed

NEXT ARTICLE

Autoloop is a digital-analog synthesizer with a robot drummer that rocks out »
author_image
IDG Connect

IDG Connect tackles the tech stories that matter to you

  • Mail

Recommended for You

20 Red-Hot, Pre-IPO companies to watch in 2019 B2B tech - Part 1

Martin Veitch's inside track on today’s tech trends

Training and certification for a cloud native world

Keri Allan looks at the latest trends and technologies

Unicorns are running free in the UK but Brexit poses a tough challenge

Trevor Clawson on the outlook for UK Tech startups

Poll

Do you think your smartphone is making you a workaholic?