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Title: Deciphering a timeline of demise at medieval Angkor, Cambodia using remote sensing
Authors: Klassen, Sarah
Attorre, Tiago
Brotherson, David
Chhay, Rachna
Johnson, Wayne
Moffat, Ian
Fletcher, Roland
Keywords: Humanities::History
Issue Date: 2021
Source: Klassen, S., Attorre, T., Brotherson, D., Chhay, R., Johnson, W., Moffat, I. & Fletcher, R. (2021). Deciphering a timeline of demise at medieval Angkor, Cambodia using remote sensing. Remote Sensing, 13(11), 2094-.
Journal: Remote Sensing 
Abstract: The Greater Angkor Region was the center of the Khmer Empire from the 9th until the 13th to the 14th centuries CE, when it entered a period of decline. Many studies have suggested that the decline of Angkor was precipitated by several factors, including severe monsoons, geopolitical shifts, and invasions. In this paper, we use light detection and ranging and ground penetrating radar to investigate the possible intersection of two of these existential threats in one feature: the North Bank Wall. Our results indicate that this feature was designed with dual functionality of extending the urban area’s defenses to the east of Angkor Thom while maintaining the existing infrastructure for the distribution and disposal of water. These findings suggest that the North Bank Wall was built before the severe droughts in the mid-13th century. The timing of the construction indicates that the perceived need for additional security—whether from internal factional disputes or external adversaries—predated the final adaptations to the hydraulic network during the unprecedented monsoon variability of the 14th century. These results indicate that perceived political unrest may have played a more important role in the decline of the site than previously known.
ISSN: 2072-4292
DOI: 10.3390/rs13112094
Schools: School of Humanities 
Rights: © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:SoH Journal Articles

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