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Google Earth reveals Angkor Wat transportation network

Researchers using Google Earth have identified a series of lines that might be a transportation network into the Cambodian city of Angkor that might have carried the sandstone blocks used to build the famous temple of Angkor Wat.

Field surveys revealed that the lines are a series of canals, connected by short stretches of road and river, that lead from the quarries straight to Angkor. The roads and canals—some of which still hold water—would’ve carried blocks from the 9th century to the 13th century on a total journey of 37 kilometers or so. The researchers don’t know whether the blocks would’ve floated down the canals on rafts or via some other method. Scholars had previously assumed that the blocks were floated down a canal to the Tonle Sap Lake and then upstream on the Siem Reap River, a route of 90 kilometers.

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Story: Traci Watson, Science Magazine | Photo: Journal of Archaeological Science

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