The Collapse of Angkor Wat

Between the 9th and the 16th Centuries, the Kingdom of Angkor controlled a large part of what is now Cambodia, Thailand, Burma, Laos, and Vietnam. Its kings led in constructing buildings that are both breathtaking in scale and audacity. The most famous of these monuments is the Angkor Wat, which was actually a human settlement that is as huge as Los Angeles, stretching for over 1,000 square kilometers.

Recent findings have provided evidence that Angkor Wat was a completely artificial landscape. The people of Angkor stripped forests bare and even moved entire rivers to remodel the area. The city was said to house a million people.

No one can say why Angkor Wat collapsed and there have been many theories over the years. Researcher theorize that Angkor Wat’s collapse has something to do with its water management system. In its heyday, the city was filled with moats and irrigation sourced from nearby canals. However, once these canals and reservoirs collapsed, the people simply moved to another area and rebuilt the city on a grander scale. But as the waterways could not longer provide much-needed water to the city, Angkor Wat-as they theorized-collapsed.

 
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