The Decline of Angkor Wat

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The Decline of Angkor Wat

Post by CEOCambodiaNews » Tue Feb 26, 2019 10:23 pm

New research examines fate of Cambodia's ancient Angkor city
Source: Xinhua| 2019-02-26 14:28:08|Editor: Li Xia

SYDNEY, Feb. 26 (Xinhua) -- The ancient Cambodian city of Angkor may not have come to such a sudden and catastrophic end as previously believed, with new Australian research released on Tuesday showing a more gradual decline leading up to the desertion of the city in 1431 AD.

Now one of the country's most popular tourists attractions, Angkor was formerly the capital city of the Khmer Empire.

Known for its irrigation moats and intricately decorated stone walls and temples, the city is said to have housed at least 0.1 percent of the world's population between 1010 and 1220.

However in 1431 AD, Angkor was sacked by raiders from outside, bringing the city's period of vibrant occupation to an end.

There has been much debate amongst scientists and historians as to what preceded the sacking of the city, with some even suggesting an outbreak of disease or earthquake made it vulnerable to attack.

However, by examining sediment drill cores from the moat surrounding Angkor Thom, a team from Australia's University of Sydney (UOS) have shown that Angkor underwent a slow decline over a period of about 100 years.

"Changes in land use leave tell-tale traces in sedimentary deposits that can be measured," study co-author Associate Professor Dan Penny from UOS said.

"Measuring these traces in drill-cores allows us to reconstruct what people were doing in the landscape over long periods of time."

The study shows evidence that forest disturbance, soil erosion and burning all declined in the first decades of the 14th century, and that by the end of the period the moat was covered in floating vegetation, suggesting it was no longer being maintained.

"Our study suggests the inhabitants didn't leave Angkor because the infrastructure failed, rather the infrastructure failed (or was not maintained or repaired) because the urban elite had already left," Penny said.

While the true reason for the city's decline may remain hidden, the team's results cast a different light, and creates new questions about one of the world's greatest civilizations.
http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2019-0 ... 851690.htm
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Re: The Decline of Angkor Wat

Post by pczz » Wed Feb 27, 2019 12:57 am

CEOCambodiaNews wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 10:23 pm
New research examines fate of Cambodia's ancient Angkor city
Source: Xinhua| 2019-02-26 14:28:08|Editor: Li Xia


However in 1431 AD, Angkor was sacked by raiders from outside, bringing the city's period of vibrant occupation to an end.



While the true reason for the city's decline may remain hidden, the team's results cast a different light, and creates new questions about one of the world's greatest civilizations.
http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2019-0 ... 851690.htm
SO there is hope that sihanoukville will become an iconic heritage symbol after the sacking is finished?
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Re: The Decline of Angkor Wat

Post by CEOCambodiaNews » Thu Feb 28, 2019 9:19 am

The research paper referred to in the OP is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal.It is available for study here.

Geoarchaeological evidence from Angkor, Cambodia, reveals a gradual decline rather than a catastrophic 15th-century collapse
Dan Penny, Tegan Hall, Damian Evans, and Martin Polkinghorne
PNAS published ahead of print February 25, 2019 https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1821460116
Edited by Jeremy A. Sabloff, Santa Fe Institute, Santa Fe, NM, and approved January 18, 2019 (received for review December 17, 2018)

Significance
Contrasting models exist to explain the movement of urban populations following the 15th-century demise of Angkor. Here we present geoarchaeological data from the urban core of Angkor that indicate a protracted decline in land use intensity during the 14th century rather than an abrupt demographic collapse. These results argue against traditional explanations for the demise of Angkor, which emphasize the role of interventionist foreign powers in forcing collapse, and imply a more complex and protracted transformation.
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