Jungle Atlantis

Death of Angkor Wat's Megacity

Series 1 - Episode 2 Death of Angkor Wat's Megacity

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Review

The conclusion of this two-part documentary about the Khmer empire almost feels as though it’s re-treading the same ground at Angkor Wat as the first episode. Fortunately, it quickly moves on to the outlying neighbourhoods of Jayavarman VII’s bustling metropolis, Angkor Thom.

Little remains of the city as it was mainly built from perishable materials and so vulnerable to periods of drought and floods, but the stone temples, and specifically the thousands of meticulously carved figures depicting daily life in the 12th century, still stand.

The difficulty for conservationists now is the encroaching jungle. Massive trees engulf the ruined temple at Preah Khan, smothering the stones like a Doctor Who alien.

Summary

Part two of two. The experts continue their attempt to discover why Angkor suddenly collapsed, using a revolutionary technology called lidar to reveal the true scale and splendour of this abandoned megacity. Deep in the Cambodian jungle, they have discovered a sophisticated network of roads and canals that are the forgotten world of Angkor's greatest king, shedding new light on the dramatic events leading to the fall of the city.

Cast & Crew

Narrator Sara Mendes da Costa
Director Ben Lawrie
Executive Producer Chris Granlund
Producer Ben Lawrie
Education