Courtesy The New York Times

Shooting light out of a laser in order to find hidden ancient civilizations sounds like a futuristic version of an Indiana Jones movie, but that's exactly what archaeologists Shaun Mackey and Kong Leaksmy have been doing in Angkor, Cambodia. Using a technology called LIDAR, a radar-like device that uses infrared lights in order to detect small changes on a surface or landscape, Mackey and Leasmy were able to uncover a hidden city from the Khmer empire (A.D. 802 to 1431). From March until April 2015, they flew 737 square miles and compiled about 40 billion individual measurements to map out the buried urban landscape.

"The result, [Dr. Damian Evans, the archaeologist who heads the initiative] said, has been an unprecedented new understanding of what the Khmer empire looked like at the apex of its power, with lidar-generated maps revealing an intricate urban landscape stretching across several provinces of modern-day Cambodia, along with a sophisticated network of canals, earthworks and dams that the Angkorians used to control the flow of water." says The New York Times article.

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