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Climate Fluctuations May Have Damaged Angkor’s Water System

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Angkor Wat waterSYDNEY, AUSTRALIA—According to a Science News report, computer simulations suggest that heavy monsoon rains following decades of drought triggered failures in the extensive water system at Cambodia’s medieval city of Angkor Wat. Geoscientist Dan Penny of the University of Sydney said that during periods of intense rainfall, some of the earthen channels carrying water eroded and widened, which, combined with accumulations of sediment in other areas of the network, eventually led to uneven flow throughout the system. It had been previously thought that the city's abandonment in the fifteenth century was the result of a war with a neighboring kingdom and, possibly, the rise of Buddhism over Hinduism, but Penny and his colleagues think climate-induced infrastructure collapse could be to blame for the city’s demise. For more, go to “Angkor Urban Sprawl.”

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