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Earth Science

Archaeologists Discover Lost City In Cambodian Jungle 91

Posted by timothy
from the find-the-recipe-book-for-us-please dept.
First time accepted submitter steve_mark66 writes "Australian archaeologists using remote-sensing technology have uncovered an ancient city in Cambodia that has remained hidden for more than a millennium under dense jungle undergrowth. The discovery of Mahendraparvata, a 1,200-year-old lost city that predates Cambodia's famous Angkor Wat temple complex by 350 years, was part of the Hindu-Buddhist Khmer Empire that ruled much of Southeast Asia from about 800 to 1400 A.D., during a time that coincided with Europe's Middle Ages" The Age has a story of its own, with video.
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Archaeologists Discover Lost City In Cambodian Jungle

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  • by Jonah Hex (651948) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .smtodxeh.> on Sunday June 16, 2013 @05:34PM (#44023961) Homepage Journal
    ... a road built nearby. Maybe I'm just getting old myself, but archaeological sites should be protected, and their destruction really makes me sick at the stupidity of the human race. - HEX
    • by cold fjord (826450) on Sunday June 16, 2013 @05:45PM (#44024017)

      This new one appears to be untouched by looters, so it may well be in tact and preserved. It also may have some unique content since it appears to have been built during a transition period. It should be interesting to see what comes from it.

      I will also be curious to see what is found using the same technique in other parts of the world, such as South America, Africa, and the Middle East.

      • Yeah, central America could be huge for that kind of thing. There are large sections of Nicaragua that no one has entered for centuries, for example. There's not even a road from one side of the country to the other.
      • by Apothem (1921856)
        The article mentioned a lot of landmines around the landmark. I'm guessing that's one of the reasons why there hasn't been much looting.
        • Since the 1960s maybe. But looters have had 1,200 years to find the place, and it looks like they haven't.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 16, 2013 @06:03PM (#44024113)

      It's on top of a mountain, at least. They're not going to build a shopping mall there, but it definitely will become a tourist site.

      Cambodia is in a precarious position where one of their biggest sources of revenue is tourism, and they have to balance making tourist dollars with preserving the site -- which could easily get trashed by tourists if not sufficiently protected, and no amount of protection will protect from a gradual wear caused by millions of tourists every year.

      Basically, in such a poor country:

      no tourism -> site unmaintained; degrades due to natural causes and looters

      some tourism -> money generated funds preservation and restoration

      lots of tourism -> lots of money, but also a lot more damage to the site not all of which can be repaired

      Full disclosure: I went to the Angkor Wat as a tourist last year.

      • by cusco (717999)
        Another option would be:

        lots of tourism -> lots of money, part of which is used to restore the site

        This is what is being done at Machu Picchu and some of the other sites in Peru. I first saw Machu Picchu in 1987, and visited again two years ago. It's much better restored, much better maintained, and much better researched than it ever was before.
    • by gubon13 (2695335) on Sunday June 16, 2013 @06:06PM (#44024135)

      I spent some time out in Angkor Wat and the surrounding areas just a few months ago. Beng Mealea was by far my favorite because it was the least molested and commercialized. Cambodia is in a period of economic transition and they are starting to amass the kind of discretionary wealth necessary to properly protect their proud history. Sadly, most of it has been destroyed and/or looted over the years and there is little they can do about that.

      As for your hope, I can pretty much assure you that the area where they re-discovered these ruins is so far away from any place that would need a real road that you needn't worry...

      • by sdsucks (1161899)

        "Discretionary wealth"... ? Sure, I guess it's discretionary if you exclude providing adequate food, shelter, and education for the majority of the population from the governments priorities (sadly, this is rather true..). No doubt Cambodia is changing quickly, but government priorities here are on making money, typically this means more money for those that are already rich.

        Anything of value found will be exploited for the purpose of tourism (or otherwise), you can count on that... But that is probably t

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by sumdumass (711423)

          I hate to bring this up but the idea that government provides adequate food, shelter, and education for the majority of the population is really one reason why a government fails to do so.

          Seriously, in the US, before the government handed things out or got involved in education, people received enough education from the local communities to function in society. Before government got involved in providing housing and food, the vast majority of people were able to find it and live- even if they were working j

          • by Alomex (148003) on Sunday June 16, 2013 @11:28PM (#44025805) Homepage

            Seriously, in the US, before the government handed things out or got involved in education, people received enough education from the local communities to function in society.

            What on Earth are you talking about? Education in America has been handled by the (local) government going all the way back to the settlement of the new colonies.

            Also, America is exceptional in that it always had high literacy rates, but in other countries, literacy has increased directly proportionally to the amount of involvement by the government, and higher standard of living is directly co-related to the participation of government with the "big-state" countries of Europe such as Germany and Scandinavian countries consistently outperforming the "small state" countries such as the US (yes, by developed world standards the US is a low taxes, small government country).

            • by sumdumass (711423)

              What on Earth are you talking about? Education in America has been handled by the (local) government going all the way back to the settlement of the new colonies.

              Obviously, I forgot to spell it out.. federal and state government as in the government. Local governments dabbled in public education but it wasn't consistent or always available in every city.

              Also, America is exceptional in that it always had high literacy rates, but in other countries, literacy has increased directly proportionally to the amount

              • by Alomex (148003) on Monday June 17, 2013 @01:50AM (#44026507) Homepage

                but you have missed the entire point.

                Nope, I got it loud and clear. Furthermore I gave you evidence to the contrary, i.e. that this "less government implies richer country" is just not supported by the facts. More specifically, there are no examples in the world for the following claim you made.

                That is how a country becomes wealthy- when the population provides for themselves and the government only keeps the social economic environment that makes it possible to do so.

                The last country that tried that is Ireland, which is currently one of the basket cases of Europe. In the meantime the direct opposite of what you claimed, namely Germany, is thriving.

                Seriously dude, you bought this right wing lie of "less government is always better" not unlike the dems of old bought into "more government is always better". Neither one is the case.

                Modern democrats now realize that there is such a thing as too much government. Republicans, on the contrary, have yet to learn that there is such a thing as too little government. See Haiti, for an example across the board, or America under-performing Europe in most health indicators while spending more money for an example of an area where America needs more government, not less.

                • Modern democrats now realize that there is such a thing as too much government. [Citation needed]

                  • by Alomex (148003)

                    Easy, just to give an example federal government spending went down in size during the Clinton administration, and indeed it was smaller on the average than during the Bush administration. In the Obama years, after the first Keynesian expansion, the size of the government has been going down every year since FY 2009.

                    The days of tax-and-spend democrats are gone. Now the biggest problem facing America is slash-and-burn republicans, which approve of all and any tax cuts, including those what would place the co

                    • by Straif (172656)

                      Just a small clarification:

                      the size of the government has been going down every year since FY 2009.

                      I'm sure you meant to point out this is only true when you include state and local governments (the majority of States currently have Republican governors BTW). The Federal government, on the other hand, has increased in sized pretty much every month since the 2009 inauguration (not including the temporary census workers which were required regardless of who is in office).

                      I'm sure you didn't mean to mislead by including all the offices not under Obama and congressional Dem's dire

                    • by Alomex (148003)

                      I'm sure you meant to point out this is only true when you include state and local governments

                      Not at all. The size of the federal government in number of workers and as percentage of GDP has gone down since 2009, even without including the census worker spike. This is at a time when simply by increase of population alone we should expect the number of workers to go up 1% a year to maintain current levels of service.

                    • by Straif (172656)

                      When Obama took Office at the beginning of 2009, federal employment was at 4,206,000. As of 2011 (the last year available) Federal workers sits at 4,403,000.

                      Even using the end of 2009 as your base the number of Federal workers continued increasing month to month until sometime around Sept. 2011 (when numbers finally began to decline) which led to the final number of Federal employees to be only 197,000 more than when Bush left office by the end of 2011.

                      So while yes, the number of federal employees is slig

                    • by Alomex (148003)

                      , it is still significantly larger than when he first entered office.

                      False. The 2009 budget is proposed by the outgoing president, so the number of federal employees in that year was chosen by Bush Jr. In 2009 under the Bush budget the number of federal employees was 4,430,000. The year after, thanks to the surge an extra 11,000 soldiers were kept on payroll leading to a payroll of 4,443,000. In 2011 the number dropped down to 4,403,000 with further drops in 2012 and 2013.

                      So again, this increase in the size of the federal government under Obama exists only in your imaginati

                    • by Straif (172656)

                      The President proposes a federal budget but it is the Senate and House (both controlled by Dems at the time) who actually write and finalized the actual budget. In the case of 2009, Bush was threatening to veto certain Democrat proposals so they delayed the vote until Obama was in office to ensure their budget passed.

                      The end result is the 2009 budget wasn't actually passed until 5 months into the fiscal year. Little did we know that would be considered speedy for the Senate Dems.

              • by Kiuas (1084567) on Monday June 17, 2013 @06:34AM (#44027389)

                I'm not sure how higher standard of living is connected with adequate food, shelter, and education for the majority of the population. I'm sure with a base line, the rest will follow but you have missed the entire point.

                I'm not the guy you were responding to, but I'm gonna give my 2 cents on the matter. I think you kind of missed his point. In your original post you said:

                But expecting government to provide something is really harsh on someone trying to provide for themselves. That is how a country becomes wealthy- when the population provides for themselves and the government only keeps the social economic environment that makes it possible to do so.

                Implying that the government being involved in these things (ie. welfare). As someone who lives in a welfare state (Finland) and currently works for the public healthcare sector, let me give my thoughts on why I think you're both wrong and right. I know you didn't originally talk about healthcare, but I'm going to be using that as an example because that's what I'm most familiar with and I think health is no different from the other basic necessities (food, shelter, housing) that you mentioned.

                So the facts of the current situation are these: The US is spending the most tax dollars per citizens on healthcare and is ranked 33rd in life expectancy[1][2]. Of the countries that are ahead of US, pretty much all have at least some from of socialized healthcare[3]. Even the countries with insurance-systems like Switzerland and Germany have a model where insurance is used like in the States, but it is mandated and regulated to keep the prices in line and the companies are not allowed to reject sick people. Point being: the US is pretty much the only industrialized country in the world where high amounts of people with no insurance (and therefore pretty much no healthcare) still exist, largerly because of the pricing. This is why it is so expensive: since the law still denies ERs from letting people die even if they're uninsured, the hospitals perform the necessary operations which are priced with (often insane) profit margins because traditionally the insurance companies would pay them, and if/when the uninsured individual cannot pay the bill it is footed by the taxpayers.

                Note that the most expensive healthcare system after the US is Norway's single payer model but even that is a whopping 34,6 % cheaper than the US model and the country with the highest life expectancy (Japan) has a socialized model that is 63,1 % cheaper![1]. Japan's average life expectancy is 83 compared to 79 of the States. This means, that the Japanese are using 63 % less money and still getting 5 % better performance from their system. These figures leave no room for interpretation: the US model is clearly more expensive, and at the same time less effective in increasing maintaining/increasing national health (note that I'm not talking about wealthy individuals, I'm very much aware that if you happen to be rich you can get excellent care in the States but that is not my point) than pretty much any other system used by any industrialized country, yet American politicians and the insurance lobby does their best to keep the current system in place.

                But expecting government to provide something is really harsh on someone trying to provide for themselves.

                You're right, but this is true only in cases where the thing being provided - whether it be healthcare, housing or education - is treated as a privilege instead of as a basic right. The US constitution makes no mention of any of these things as far as I'm aware (although I admit to not having read the thing in its entirety) even though you could easily argue that all of them are necessary for "the pursuit of happiness" that's so often used as the core of the american idealism.

                If you treat stuff like education and health as a commodity to be sold for profit, of course it's going to be unfair for the ones paying for it themselves

                • So to summarize: I think the facts are not on your side in this matter but it of course all depends on whether you think that the government's job is to prioritize the wealth of the nation or the happiness and well being of the entire populace.

                  This -> The Government providing for and emphasizing the needs of the few over the needs of the many -- , is part of the downfall of American politics. Other countries have tried to limit this shift and some to take it out almost all together, but these few have their claws in really deep and it will take generations to claw their society back from the idealism's of the few.

                • Don't forget that every US citizen is subsidized by the world's financial system - world's reserve currency don't you know...
          • by cusco (717999)
            the vast majority of people were able to find it and live

            Are you really that ignorant of history? Is that a requirement of becoming a libertarian? The vast majority of people experienced famine and/or pestilence at some point before the beginning of the last century, generally several times during their life. A large percentage of the population well into the middle of the 20th century grew up sufficiently malnourished that they would today be considered mentally deficient. The first year of the Dep
            • by sumdumass (711423)

              The vast majority of people experienced famine and/or pestilence at some point before the beginning of the last century, generally several times during their life.

              And yet the vast majority survived. I never said there wasn't hardships, I said they got by.

              The rest of what you say exists only in your mind. Discounting suicides, life expectancy increased during the great depression.

              http://www.pnas.org/content/106/41/17290.full [pnas.org]

              BTW, the great depression was largely caused by government interference within the fr

              • by cusco (717999)
                So the rampant stock and real estate speculation and over-leveraged banks had nothing to do with it? Well I'll be darn. Here I always thought a stock market crash was caused by, well, an overvalued stock market. Instead apparently it has nothing to do with the stock market at all! Amazing the things you learn.

                My dad and I both worked with those guys you claim are only in my mind. Mostly farm kids who grew up eating cornmeal mush three times a day because that's all their family could afford. Dumb a
                • by sumdumass (711423)

                  So the rampant stock and real estate speculation and over-leveraged banks had nothing to do with it? Well I'll be darn. Here I always thought a stock market crash was caused by, well, an overvalued stock market. Instead apparently it has nothing to do with the stock market at all! Amazing the things you learn.

                  What is your problem? I never said nothing else was involved, but it is a historical fact that government price fixing (in the US) and foreign nationalism (Europe mostly) lead directly to the great dep

          • Now enter education- kids graduate from high school knowing less about more things then a high school graduate in 1860.

            Don't you mean a fifth grader from 1860?

    • Here's the thing, archaeology is everywhere because humans have been everywhere since well before agriculture was invented, the oldest cities in the world are built on the rubble and bones of our ancestors, we have left a distinct and indelible mark in the geological strata called the "Anthropocean". Western European countries now routinely do archaeological surveys for all major earth works such as roads, etc. They can't save every brick and shard of pottery but they do get a to look at much larger "ditche
  • by rossdee (243626)

    as in Angkor Wat

  • by Greyfox (87712) on Sunday June 16, 2013 @05:57PM (#44024081) Homepage Journal
    Isn't this the start of the plot for "Alien Vs. Predator"?
  • Now Hiring (Score:3, Funny)

    by fabioalcor (1663783) on Sunday June 16, 2013 @05:57PM (#44024087)

    They are now hiring more archaeologists for the exploration. Requirements: must be able to run more than 10k meters in Temple Run.

  • Lost? (Score:1, Troll)

    by PPH (736903)

    I blame iMaps.

  • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Sunday June 16, 2013 @06:16PM (#44024201)

    The archaeologists were using Apple Maps - turns out it was actually Phnom Penh.

  • Why tell? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PuddleBoy (544111) on Sunday June 16, 2013 @11:36PM (#44025837)

    Wouldn't it have been better if they did NOT announce to the world that they found this new city until they *knew* that the gov't could secure it against looters?

    I mean, now that this 'unlooted site' has been announced, isn't it just a matter of time before someone loots it?

  • by DarthVain (724186) on Monday June 17, 2013 @11:55AM (#44030157)

    Its already got a wiki link under lidar.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lidar#Archaeology [wikipedia.org]

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