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Urban sprawl may have caused Angkor’s collapse

Over-development of water infrastructure and climate fluctuations may have caused the collapse of the ancient city of Angkor in Cambodia.

The group will argue that before an alternating series of droughts and monsoonal floods hit Angkor from the mid-14th to late 15th centuries, the capital of the Khmer empire had already had extensive problems with its vast, complicated water system.

Ultimately, it became impossible for the city to keep pace with further pressures from extreme weather. “Although there was ongoing conflict with neighbouring states, it was this over-built, inflexible (water) infrastructure that locked them into this trajectory of decline,” Dr Penny said.

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