Newly-Discovered Canals Were Used in Construction of Angkor Wat

Picture: Louis Delaporte (PD)

Via NewScientist:

Looks like the builders of Angkor Wat may have taken a short cut transporting the materials used in the construction of the temple. Newly-discovered traces of a series of long-gone canals may have halved the distance it took to transport massive blocks of sandstone from quarries at Mount Kulen.

The sandstone blocks each weigh up to 1.5 tonnes and originate from quarries at Mount Kulen. It was thought they were taken 35 kilometres along a canal to Tonlé Sap Lake, rafted another 35 km along the lake, then taken up the Siem Reap River for 15 km, against the current.

Thinking this was unlikely, Etsuo Uchida and Ichita Shimoda of Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan, used satellite images to search for a shortcut. The canals they discovered led from the foot of Mount Kulen to Angkor – a gentle 34-km route, as opposed to the arduous 90-km trek previously suggested. The pair also uncovered more than 50 quarries at the foot of Mount Kulen and along the route. The stones they found matched those in the temples.

Continue reading at NewScientist.

 

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  • BuzzCoastin

    maybe they just discovered those canals
    but the canals of Angkor Watt have inspired a lot of speculation
    some of which led Pol Pot to turn Cambodia into a agrarian paradise
    even if he had to kill the people to get them there

    but Americans could take this lesson from Angkor Watt
    a thousand years ago the Khmer Empire stretched across SE Asia
    it was as powerful as China in its day
    and then one day it was gone
    and all that remains are the ruins

  • BuzzCoastin

    maybe they just discovered those canals
    but the canals of Angkor Watt have inspired a lot of speculation
    some of which led Pol Pot to turn Cambodia into a agrarian paradise
    even if he had to kill the people to get them there

    but Americans could take this lesson from Angkor Watt
    a thousand years ago the Khmer Empire stretched across SE Asia
    it was as powerful as China in its day
    and then one day it was gone
    and all that remains are the ruins

    • Bluebird_of_Fastidiousness

      I met a traveler from an antique land
      Who said: `Two vast and trunk-less legs of stone
      Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
      Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
      And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
      Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
      Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
      The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
      And on the pedestal these words appear —
      “My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
      Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
      Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
      Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
      The lone and level sands stretch far away.’

      -Shelly

    • Bluebird_of_Fastidiousness

      I met a traveler from an antique land
      Who said: `Two vast and trunk-less legs of stone
      Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
      Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
      And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
      Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
      Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
      The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
      And on the pedestal these words appear —
      “My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
      Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
      Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
      Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
      The lone and level sands stretch far away.’

      -Shelly

    • Bluebird_of_Fastidiousness

      We can only hope that someone casts an enormous bronze of Lady Gaga, to memorialize the pinnacle of our civilization for some distant future alien race.

  • James Foster

    Gregory A. Waldron, in his novel God King of Angkor, suggests the blocks were hauled from the quarries by elephants. Angkor had excellent roads and was capable of supporting thousands of elephants.

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