In the mid-1800s, a French researcher named Henri Mouhot explored the jungles of Cambodia, collecting samples of exotic plants. But a local guide helped him find something far more interesting the mysterious remains of an ancient city. Many of the buildings were in ruins, but one structure rose out of the jungle: Angkor Wat. With its five massive stone towers and broad terraces, the temple Angkor Wat is one of the largest ancient structures in the world. Later archaeologists created detailed maps and drawings of the area that from 800 to 1100 A.D. was the capital of the Khmer Empire. The explorers had many questions: Why had people created such magnificent buildings? Why had the city been abandoned? And what did the ancient inscriptions on the walls say? Archaeologists began to put the story of Angkor together as they untangled the ancient runs from the jungle's grasp. Language experts deciphered the inscriptions on the walls. In the 1970s, a civil war in Cambodia temporarily brought work at Angkor to a halt, and the jungle again started to take over. But by the early 1980s, people around the world returned to the ancient city to continue restoration. Their work goes on, and Angkor Wat remains a treasured national symbol of Cambodia.
Lerner Publishing Group
Unearthing Ancient Worlds