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In the ancient land, now known as Cambodia,
was a city, that in a 12th century was home
to one million people.
At his heart, a magnificent temple,
born from horrific violence,
to build heaven on Earth.
Larger than any European cathedral.
Surrounded it by massive water ways.
It's survived invasions and modern wars.
One of the greatest temples on the world,
Angkor Wat.
Rising from the flood plane of the Mekong river,
in central Cambodia. Is one of the most spectacular temples
in the world.
This is Angkor Wat.
Once a Hindu temple,
now is stunning monument to Cambodia's golden age.
Angkor means city and wat is a temple or pagoda.
And it is massive.
Spending an area that could cover the flight decks
of more than 100 aircraft carriers.
At the center of this waste complex is this:
a temple twice the high of the Tower of London.
It's one of the most amazing engineering projects in the world.
Not just for it size
but for what it is built of on
Because, Angkor Wat is floating on a swamp,
support it by foundation of subterranean water.
Mysterious in captivating, it's enormous scale
and beautiful carvings are the brain child of autocratic king.
His name is Suryavarman II.
"Shield of the sun".
Suryavarman is in his prime.
Archaeologist Charles Higham,
believes that Suryavarman is more than just a man.
His a muscular, powerful, military leader,
but his also a semi God.
Everyone around is on the knees.
Yet, despite his supreme power
what motivates him to build Angkor Wat
might be his own insecurity.
And the reason for this insecurity
may lie in the way Suryavarman seized his kingdom.
Cambodia, 1113 CE.
This is the heart of the waste empire ruled by people
known as the Khmer, which includes modern day Cambodia
and extents into Laos.
Suryavarman is not yet king of this empire.
His only fourteen years old
and his uncle holds the throne.
Not even the heir apparent,
the ambitious teenager believes his destine to be king.
According to legend, the young man ambushes his uncle,
traveling through his domain.
As the fight continues the youngster brakes away
and leaves on to the old king's elephant
and kills him.
Victorious, the fourteen years old gains a fitting new name.
Suryavarman II. Shield of the sun.
Having seized the throne.
Suryavarman immediately sets out to consolidate
his hold on the empire.
It was a true gigantic and sophisticated empire.
Stone conservator, Simon Warrack,
is fascinated with Suryavarman's legacy.
Perhaps on a level of the Roman empire,
though it hasn't mean study that much.
But it was gigantic.
In spite of his success,
Suryavarman II., he used usurper king,
who seized the throne by murder.
If he does not want to get over throne
by enemies of post of his rule,
he must establish his position as the god king
in the eyes of his people.
This is very common all over the world.
In every culture a king who has slightly dubious CV
well, impose himself with the architecture and his art,
to prove that he really was chosen by the gods.
He certainly did that with Angkor.
Consulting with his priests and advisers
Suryavarman pursues in aggressive plan.
He starts by selecting the Hindu God Vishnu as his patron.
His choice sends a powerful message,
since Vishnu is involved by other kings in times a war.
To honor his divine protector
Suryavarman will construct a elaborate religious complex.
This would not be built of wood like any normal Khmer building,
because wood like men parishes.
To transform their kings into the gods,
the Khmer use a material that would last for eternity.
They build theirs temples in stone.
Building temples is one way that Khmer kings
can demonstrate their power.
And they will build more than seven hundred.
But Suryavarman wants his masterpiece
to surpass them all.
It will be the largest temple in the Khmer empire.
Angkor Wat.
As be fits his ambition
Suryavarman's plan is God like in scale.
Angkor Wat will reproduce on Earth
the world of the Gods in every detail.
The Hindu conception of heaven was mount Meru.
And mount Meru occupied the mystical place
somewhere north of the Himalayas.
And there were five mountain peaks,
where the Gods lived. Here you have to reconstruct that.
So, at the center is enormous temple mount
top by five towers soring 65m above the flood plain.
This is known as the temple mountain.
The temple mountain was a clearly a place of warship.
But they may also of had another,
equally secret purpose.
The building presents conflicting clues.
Is dedicated to the Hindu God Vishnu.
get it features Suryavarman II. posthumous name,
It faces do west. The compass point associated with Vishnu,
but also the direction of death.
When the king became king, the first in mind that he had,
was when he died he had to go to heaven
and so here they had to reconstruct
literally heaven on Earth. And those of already a massive project
he had a large army of architects, he had his priests,
he had a suit-sayers, get everybody organized,
for the wood go to built this massive complex.
So, that on death, he went straight to heaven.
Higham believes, that Suryavarman plan this complex
as his getaway to the afterlife.
Like the pyramids in Egypt,
the temple should be completed before the god king dies.
If not, he might not join the gods in heaven.
This was unthinkable.
But just clearing the side amibestiny rain forest
is the first challenge,
because the area it covers is huge, some 500 acres.
It's hard to get your head a rounds, how big 500 acres is.
For engineer, Ed McCann,
the scale of this place is staggering.
500 acres is about the size of 250-300 football pitches.
It's not just the size of the side that is denting,
the construction's hurtles are equally formidable.
This would be covered with trees, from this size to, you know,
meters in diameters, hard tropical wood.
They got a few machetes and maybe axe or two
and they got chop their way through this
in the middle of steaming, hit and bugs
and beasts everywhere and this would be an mammas task,
absolutely mammas task to clear this area.
Like most of Cambodia,
Angkor sits on the flood water lodge plane,
but it is the capitol of the Khmer empire,
To boost his prestige,
Suryavarman needs to build here.
So, his men must erect millions of blocks of stone,
in the middle of flat flood plane, where there is no quarry.
And he must do in the monsoon plaque swamp land,
which will somehow support his mega structure,
for nearly a thousand years.
Suryavarman II. temple, Angkor Wat,
will sort about Cambodia larger then any mediaeval cathedral.
And his engineers have last then a single life time
in which to build it.
I'm a stonemason by trade
and I still haven't really work it how they did it.
That temple was built in probably about 35 years.
Now, the only cathedral in England for instants
that was built in such short time,
most cathedrals took up to 200-300 years.
And they were considerable smaller then Angkor Wat.
Because the temple is secret,
it has to be build on pure soil.
This meant that the dirt
has to be excavated down several meters.
It is backfield with thick layers of sand and top with stones.
A final layer of sand is added to the level of surface.
But all this would be for not
unless they can secure the favor of the gods
who will reside in the temple.
So, before they start building
they select on special day in the calendar.
Priests call out to the gods for their blessings.
They deep cords in colored powder.
With this, they lie down mandalas.
The mandala patterns represent heaven.
symbolically biding the gods to the side
and assuring their blessings on the temple.
At the core of the temple are these offerings:
the white Safire represents the moon,
while the gold leaves signifies the sun.
The two elements are bury it.
Over this location, Suryavarman engineers
will built the shaft leading through the burial chamber,
to the secret central chamber above
and the temple mountain is built around the shaft.
Created from terraces step on top of one another,
like three giant sandboxes.
The temple mountain is a massive project.
With the second and third levels twice is high then first.
On the very top are five peaks,
which represent the secret mount Meru
and its companion mountains.
The structure will weight 1000 of tons.
Suryavarman plans to build this complex
in the heart of the city of Angkor.
Life here is dominated by the monsoon cycle.
The rainfall in this area is highly seasonal.
Researcher Damien Evans,
contents that Cambodia's extreme climate,
shape the way the Angkor was built.
For six months of the year, you have an abundance of water,
too much water essentially and for the other six months
of the year during the dry season
you don't really have enough water.
Also rainfall is very quiet sharply from year to year.
In simple turns, with 88 percent of the rain
falling during the monsoon season,
the Khmer must stabilize, store and disperse water
for use during the dry season.
But the solution is anything but simple.
In the 9th century, Khmer engineers
began to create an extensive hydraulic system.
By the 12. century hundreds of interconnect it canals,
dykes and reservoirs operate over 1500 square km.
The network is like Venice on steroids.
It's a support an enormous city covering an area
is greatest the city of Los Angeles and sustaining
nearly one million people. It was far by the largest city
in the world to until the industrial revolution.
It's a virtual megalopolis.
Architectural conservators John Stuubs,
believes that Angkor is more than just a gigantic city.
It's a city of cities.
With Angkor Wat the temple being the inner piece,
like the Vatican is to Rome.
Even if they could build the solid foundation
into the water log soils the monsoon cycle
which alternately causes floods and droughts above ground
have it on anything constructed here.
this spaces between the soil particles are filled with water,
as the water table surges up with the monsoon rains.
This would up root foundations and walls.
During the drought, the water table drops again,
drying the soil and causing into lose it last tisiens
sucking the walls and foundations downwards.
This dramatic ebb and flow could rip apart even the strongest building.
It will take a stroke of engineering brilliants
to conquer the forces of nature at work.
Instead of building the temple to which stand
in the impact of surging water
they turned the water to their advantage.
Angkor Wat, is like a ship floating on an ocean,
on sub terrain water.
But the Khmer have a problem.
There is only enough water to float on during the rainy season.
Have they would prevent the ship of stone
from settling on the bottom throughout the other months.
To keep the temple stable,
they must create the reservoir nearby,
to keep the water table top it up all year around.
The secret mechanism that protect the temple.
lies in one of it's most visible features.
The moats surrounding Angkor Wat is gigantic.
The outside parameter extends 5 km
and it's 200 m wide.
It's distinctive shape is clearly evident from space.
When complete, the moat will collect the run off
of the monsoon rains from the temple side,
minimizing the up roads surge of the water table.
During the dry season, water absorbed by the soil
from the moat reservoir, keeps the water table constant.
And the high water table forms the foundation,
upon which the temple is constructed
to keep it from sinking into a mud.
To fulfill this sort of objective the state was galvanized.
You have to get people from all over the kingdom.
We do have in fact one temple,
that was constructed some distance from here,
where we have all the records in stone
on what they did. They brought in workers
from every point of the compass.
Hundreds of thousands of people would been involved
and the work could been highly seasonal.
Most of the food production in this area
happens between roughly the months of May
and November or December. Throughout the rest of the
you essentially have a large amount of people
who ain't really engaged in food production
and who are available for call up using by the king,
by the rulers in order to come here and be involved
in mega projects like this.
Like a modern government,
Suryavarman uses major public works projects,
to keep his people busy in the off season.
Experts believe, that laborers worked to fulfill
feudal obligation to the king.
Although those workers may up also been motivated
by the promise of the spiritual reword.
With an estimated 5000 discipline workers,
Suryavarman can drive the excavation forward
at the fantastic haste.
The mote workers first dread 1,5 million cubic meters
of silt and sand from the site.
Enough to fill almost 200 thousands dump trucks.
That's a lot of spare earth
and it has to go somewhere.
But Suryavarman's engineers have already plan for this.
The sand will be contain by walls to form each of three great terraces.
without concrete dubbin or steel to reinforced them
how can simple stone walls contain this mountain
of free flowing send.
Behind the brilliantly curve surfaces,
is another secret of Angkor Wat.
A stone called, laterite.
Laterite is a magic stone.
You cut it out like butter,
you shape it and it's hard like a rock last forever.
In English, the word laterite comes from the Latin, later,
which means brick.
And hidden in the flat land, the high temperatures
and heavy rain of Cambodia,
make it the perfect place for laterite to form.
Water filtering through the surface rock
dissolves some elements away.
Producing a formation made up of iron.
Aluminum and quartz.
Suryavarman's laborers works quickly.
Cutting blocks to make a rough fit because the laterite
is easiest to work when it damp.
Other team moves them into place.
And slowly,
the secret structure define by Suryavarman's priests architects,
starts to take shape.
But the laterite is not beautiful.
It's full of holes
and it cannot be carved into the delicate bas-reliefs,
worth of the god king.
For the surface of Angkor Wat,
Suryavarman needs a regal stone.
Something that will shimmer in the sun light,
reflecting off it temples, lintels and portals,
it's stairs and towers and sculpted facades.
When they are finished,
the laterite will be completely in cased in sand stone.
Simon Warrack, sees an Indian influence on this approach.
Following from India were they would find this giant rocks
and carve them in to temples.
Not having this situation in Cambodia,
it's possible they seem to create their own monolith by
building it first at the rough blocks
and then carving it later.
So, in a way, you're not looking
at dynamic building like a cathedral
but a gigantic sculpture.
To find the tons of sand stone need it to complete Angkor Wat,
Suryavarman's engineers would travel far to the north,
to a holly land scape, where the Khmer empire began,
the Kulen hills.
Kulen's great cliffs are the source of the rivers,
among them, the Siem Reap,
that fertilizes the extensive Angkor plane.
They are home to the earliest Khmer temples.
To honor this secret place, the Khmer artists have carved
phallus symbols, known it's "linga" in the river banks.
This icons blessed the water
and give it with power and strength,
as it makes its way to the Suryavarman's kingdom far below.
The journey is at least 30 km.
The work to quarry the stone was arduous and slow.
Khmer tools were rudiment.
Workers use chisels to trench the stone.
Then they insertion wooden wedges.
When soak with water the wooden wedges extend
and split the stone away from the block face.
After teams rough out blocks,
specialize transportation crews move this stones
weighing anything between two to twelve tons.
Experts estimate that workers had to shape and transport
three to four hundred blocks of sand stone per day,
to meet the ambitious time line of temple construction.
Just how the Khmer transported this mountain of stone
has let to decades of speculation.
But some evidences is carved into the stone itself.
In this bas-relief we can see the Khmer using floating bridges
and rafts to carry people and animals across the water.
The circles represents bamboo poles lash together
in a crude bridge bobbing about river timing with fish
and supporting the weight of entire army on the move.
It's seems likely that the crews would a loaded the stones
on some sort of barge or raft,
which was floated into a one of the many channels
leading to the temple site.
Once on the canal system the barge is toad by animal traction,
possibly elephants or water buffalo.
If during the dry season water levels in the canal is too low
the Khmer might block the arches at the road bridges,
to create a lock,
providing steady passage for the convoy of stones.
At the Angkor Wat site, workers swarm all over,
unloading and stock piling the sand stone blocks.
It's also important to remember that,
this is a huge feat of logistics and supplies as well.
If you were to be standing here 800 or 900 years ago,
watching this thing been put together.
What would you say is just a waste army of people,
elephants, cables, goonies for placing stone into place
and labor system of bamboo or ropes in order
to move everything into place and getting in to the right spot.
The workers hurry to create temple's walls from stone blocks
but they now face a new challenge,
moving the stone around the site.
And the moat once again proof its usefulness.
Now it functions as a port.
By floating the blocks around the moat,
materials can be delivered directly to any site of the site.
One of the most commonly ask questions at the Angkor is,
what are this holes for in the stone.
Probably, designed that you can put it a large stake of wood
and then moisten it the water,
that the wood then swell up.
And then it's easier on each site of the stone
to attach ropes.
The pegs provides handles for workers to
manipulate the stones by hands and ropes.
Some experts suggest that workers makes extensive
use of scaffolding and primitive block and tackle system,
which would allow them to lift stones in the positions.
Elephants were also used on the job site to move stones around
and provide the brute force to lift the great blocks in to the position.
The combination of great height and enormous stones,
must of made for very dangerous work place.
We don't know how many people died,
how many people fell off. We don't know
the mortality rate.
But, what we do know,
is that they were building a heaven,
they were building a heaven on Earth.
And they had all the motivation,
need it to do that.
Suryavarman's objective to build heaven on Earth,
meant that every detail of the construction had to be perfect.
The precision with which this enormous blocks of stone
were symbol it is truly on inspiring.
The precision is actually perfect,
especially in Angkor Wat.
By that, I mean that the contact between the lower block
and the upper block and the block beside it,
is what we call a razor joint.
It's in perfect contact for entire surface area of the block.
Experts today believe, that Khmer builders
achieve such a close fit between this huge blocks
using a technique known as a braishen.
Sandstone has a naturally rough surface
and when one stone is rub against another
possibly with water in between, the two surfaces will grand
each other smooth.
Amazingly, this stones are kept on place by nothing more
then stone on stone friction, seamlessly, securely
and without any mortar or cement.
To the Khmer, this was particularly important,
because mortar would of only interfered with the perfect contact joint,
required for carving.
If it's a perfect joint,
it's act like a monolith, a single piece of stone.
And you can carve across that joint.
And nowhere, are this perfect joints more evident,
then in enormous bas-reliefs.
Here, for the first time, we see a king of Angkor.
His name is Suryavarman II, the sun king
and he reigned over a huge empire,
with great power and great charisma.
Experts estimate, that the carving occupied
nearly one half of the 35 years that Angkor Wat took the built.
Two or three levels of talent when in to carving the stones,
which involved the highest level sub artistes,
who were very priciest possession in ancient cultures like this.
After master artists stens allowed to design,
junior carvers follow behind, tracing out the pattern.
The carving at Angkor Wat is remarkable.
The master carvers achieve incredible depth of image,
in remarkably small depth of stone.
In 2-3 cm, there is a foreground,
figures in the middle and someone in the back ground
of the same space.
The endless carvings and bas-reliefs squall impressive today,
would a look very different 900 years ago.
The shine is because a thousand hands touching it,
but in fact when the king himself came here
and examined it in its heyday,
all this would been covered in gold.
The stone still bear traces of the additional adornment.
And here you can see still the remains of that gold,
that king would a seen.
And he would be an able to view of this magnificent reliefs,
in which they would literary shone in golden sunlight.
This relief shows his grand army on the march.
They are traveling through teak forest
and the great war elephants here each carry
one of his generals. But below here we see
the Khmer army the infantry. Look at them. They are
absolutely proud erecting in great military order.
This army was vital to Suryavarman survival
and prosperity of his new empire.
When he seized the crown,
Suryavarman lunch his attacks to extend his empire
into the Vietnam and Myanmar,
soon covering 360 000 square kilometers.
But the empire was so enormous
it took hundreds of thousands of workers to build in maintain.
How would Suryavarman feed them all?
The answer can be found about 20 km south from Angkor Wat,
the Tonle Sap lake.
The lake is connected by the Tonle Sap river to the Mekong.
But in the summer, the volume of tropical rain
is combine with run off from on the Himalayas,
pushes up the Tonle Sap river into the lake,
drowning forests of trees and quadrupling its size.
And when the lake retreats,
waste planes are cover it with fertile earth for rice cultivation.
Suryavarman's subjects, cultivated two and sometimes
even three harvest of rice a year.
Not only can Suryavarman feed his workers,
but there is also surplus production.
While much of the world is practicing subsistence agriculture,
Suryavarman generates renew to pay
a mega projects like Angkor Wat
and for wars against his neighbors.
Just as one cannot can seen the Egypt empire without the Nil,
the great flood plane of the Tonle Sap,
feeds the growth of the Khmer kingdom
and the mega city at his heart.
The scope and scale of the Khmer empire,
means that Suryavarman's workers
have many great building traditions to draw from
as they construct the temple.
The height of 1532 columns, means that stone on stone friction,
is not enough to keep features of the temples safely in place.
Suryavarman's engineers relayed on another great building tradition,
The temple itself is raw constructed in stone
but the people lived in homes made of wood.
They were great good workers we know what the houses
and palaces look like because we have them represented
on some of the stone reliefs.
Look at in this pieces of carved stone
it is clear how wood working influence the way
to stone was cut and carved.
You can see how they wood decorated and chiseled away,
just in the same way that the wood was chiseled
into patterns and forms.
The technics of joining the stones shows similar influence.
You can see the way that would be timber would be a prototype.
at to the way in which the stone was also cuts
to have meet and mortise ten and jointing.
So, the woodworker and the stone worker
are working in harmony one with the other.
Based on their knowledge of how shapes interlocked
and exploiting the natural way and friction between stones,
Suryavarman's teams produce the sorting details
that make Angkor Wat famous.
This extents to the roof of the structure as well.
As the walls of the great temple near completion
they appeared to ignore one of the most elemental and effective
building technics available, the key stone arch.
This could be, because the arch created own engineering problems.
Everyone knows that the arch is wonderful structure device.
Is very efficient, it used all over the place,
but it does have some down sides. And one of the down sides
is the arch has is the in order to work
has to resist big pushes out of the ends.
If I the arch like this, it wants to go like that
and pushes out like my elbows is going.
And so, you need to apply large horizontal thrusts at the end.
To get around this problem
the distinctive tops of the towers at the Angkor Wat,
are examples of the building technics called, corbeling.
Corbeling is the technics that anyone with small kids
with blocks would a seen in action many times,
involves placing of a block and then another one
slightly off set from another one, slightly off set from it.
To point where the thing begins to span out.
Unlike Europeans structures such as cathedrals
whose roofs had to spent much spaces
the Khmer architecture favorites corridors
and small meeting rooms.
This made corbeling available alternative.
It's sometimes dangerous and mistakes had been made by architects
who come from European and look at thing,
what do you mean there is no radiating joint in an arch.
The joints are flat, that's mad. That's not structurally
that isn't in my engineering manual.
It doesn't work.
Wait a minute, we got a biggest stone temple in the world.
Nobody else build something bigger.
It must work.
So, by plan to specific needs of their temple
the Khmer constructed countless corbel structures,
creating their own distinctive architectural style.
But as they complete the temple mountain
the sand core pushes out against the laterite
and sand stone incise walls. The albeit thrust
might of started push it out of shape.
The Khmer would have to implement the solution
or else the entire structure will crumbling
to a heap a send and stone blocks.
Most building in stone is actually is try the narrow.
When they were building the Gothic cathedrals
they would very often built them as high as they could
before they started to fall down
and that was a highest that can get and then they stop.
The tons of sand contains within the laterite forms
are pushing constantly against the stone.
Suryavarman's engineers will need to reinforce the laterite walls
and keep the soaring temple mountain intact.
Their solution takes the modern visitor to the most secret
part of the Angkor Wat site.
Once of limits to any one but the highest priests.
This steps must rank among the steepest on the world.
It would a been very very hard for an old priest
or king even to get up them. In fact want has to go
up them almost pigeon-toed to make it to the top.
But on the right and left hand sides
there are these greats batrasis
and this batrasis are almost certainly weight bearing
to take the enormous thrust of the weight of the stone
and to distributed that is come down.
So, the building would in fact last and last it has
for almost a 1000 years.
At almost exactly the same time the French's architects
of Chartres use their flying batrases
Khmer engineers adopt the similar principle.
Thrust meet by contra thrust.
Half a world away in south east Asia.
Yet before visitors to the site see the soaring temple mountain
they must first cross it its famous moat.
Damian Evans argues that the moat and temple
are in fact to separate feats of engineering.
You have construction of the temple which would itself taken
a probably decades and involved hundreds of thousands of people
and then all around out side of that temple you have
an equally impressive feat which is construction of this moat
and again would involve the labor of hundreds of thousand people
are in the course of many decades.
Now when the moat is been completed
like the temple walls it would be lined with sand stone.
However, this block are even larger
and workers have to lined both the inside and outside
parameters with beautiful stone, transported
from the Kulen hills and then moved to the place.
So, you can imagine the amount of effort and energy
that would been involved on bring of this enormous stones down,
from such a distance down to the edge of this moat.
It really is truly one of the most amazing engineering
feats in human history.
From the moat to the roof the Khmer used sand stone everywhere.
The famous corbeling now visible inside of the temple
is top on the outside by inter locking roof stones.
Modern day restoration's work revealed how
how the Khmer tailored their roofing technics
to the monsoon climate,
where water post and going threat to the structure survival.
Let's have a look. -Yes.
Previous attempts to renovate
show the dangerous of applying western methods of construction
to such a resolutely eastern building.
Back in 1918, after a major restoration to the temple,
the roof stones were re-erected and then sealed together with cement,
to keep the rain out.
that's solution coast the corrosive chemicals on the cement,
to bleed into the temple,
threatening some of its famous bas-reliefs.
The most important of which is the great tableau,
known as the Churning of the Sea of Milk.
In it, the gods and the demons,
vie for immortality.
Each side tagging at the end of the serpent
wrapped around the mountain.
At the center is Vishnu, protector of Suryavarman.
By pulling one thousand years,
the gods and demons rotate the mountain,
steering up the elixir of life from the bottom of the ocean.
The action create the apsaras,
who occupied the upper sections of the relief.
So, this great tableau is presenting with them
one gallery that is arguably the finest work
of ancient Khmer sculpture.
The problem is that the roof system over
this precious bas-reliefs leaks,
caring with the damaging salts and water
and lichen and biological growth on the lichen.
More holistic approach, now studies how the original
roof stones were designed to function.
Conservationist Long Nary, describes the entire drainage system
build with in the roof to whisk water away from the structure.
If the water still infiltrate from the joint,
open it joint anyhow, the water will not run
directly to inside structure but it will run this small channel
out from the building.
The cement filled the narrow channels
and cracks formed causing leaks.
They had a major problem on their hands.
A restoration is now on the way.
The roof stones are been removed and lower to the ground.
They show evidence of scaling and salts damage.
At nearby work stations, the stones are individually cleaned
and the fealty mortar removed
restoring the original channels.
Repairs are made and the stone itself sealed
and protected from the elements.
Eventually, the stones will be lifted back into place.
A fitting legacy to the brilliance of the Khmer building technics,
which is lasted for centuries.
For almost 900 years
thousands of stones make up the great temple
of Angkor Wat have remained in perfect alignment,
protecting integrity of its bas-reliefs and other carvings.
This carvings are intended to provides Suryavarman
with an entourage in the afterlife.
But Suryavarman is growing old.
Will he live long enough to see his grand vision complete?
If he does not
he will lose his chance at heaven.
Suryavarman's builders race against time
to finished the temple before his death.
However, there is evidence to suggest
they were not fully successful.
This incomplete bas-reliefs revealed that the project
was not fully completed.
But Charles Higham does believe,
that the temple perform its ultimate function
and was ready to receive the Suryavarman's ashes
after his death.
When the king died he a would been cremated.
He a would been turned to ashes but he was still alive.
He had a new name, Paramavishnuloka..
He, who is gone to live with Vishnu.
He points to evidence of the burial process
intended to turn the king into a living god found on the site.
To until the ashes would placed in the grave stone casket,
some of those stone caskets has survived.
One was actually found here but it was in the wrong place,
it been moved. And so, when the ashes in the stone
casket been placed dead center under the central tower,
then is they say,
the statue of Vishnu, the God king, represented in stone,
eyes were opened and the king lived.
Suryavarman may have been safely buried
but the very system that allowed him to build Angkor Wat,
that's amazing hydraulic city,
may have contained the seeds of the Khmer empires doom.
Angkor's wanted water systems,
its canals and reservoirs and irrigation channels,
grow more complex to support the sprawling mega city.
Huge tracks of land have been clear cut for temples,
homes and farming, allowing silt to build up
in the canals and reservoirs during the rainy season
with the growing populace and deforestation,
stretching the jungle's resources.
Massive engineering suddenly gave way to over engineering.
As we see, that the system becoming more and more complex,
we start to see evidence of adaptations,
people trying to patch things up,
the system become more and more complex and unworkable.
Overwhelmed by such a high made water system,
food production and transportation
may gradually started to fail.
The Khmer's brilliantly constructed system,
rich the breaking point.
My own theory is it like some other civilizations
is got to be so wealthy and so grand
and so complicated that were became irresistible as a target
for others.
And eventually, through this right conditions
kings and rules came along just couldn't hold all together.
And after successful attempts perhaps by neighboring cultures
eventually was taking over. -In 1431,
the city of Angkor was attacked by Thai invaders.
And the Khmer king abandoned the site the next year.
The jungle and swamp reclaim that's wooden homes and palaces.
Its sophisticated water ways cork with silt and weeds.
The city was lost but the temple histud
the test of time.
Even though during the 15. century,
it was converted to a Buddhist shrine.
Angkor Wat was never abandoned
and perhaps because of its extraordinary presents.
It's size, it's grandeur,
it naturally attracted to people to use it.
And that use change over the years
but there were always people in it,
they were always pray in, they were always using it.
Having built a celestial home for their king
in his afterlife the work of Suryavarman's engineers
continues to create odd.
A million visitors traveled to the site each year.
Often just inspired like the experts.
Every time I come back to Angkor,
I feel even great a sense of odd and amazement.
The conception of the scale, at the marvelous architecture,
at the remarkable reliefs that surrounded
and of course like a great naldo tooth
that central tower there. Looks out soaringly over the jungle
around the city. Just absolutely amazing.
It continues to be a Suryavarman II. intended.
One of the largest and most odd inspiring religious
monuments ever build.
Angkor Wat,
a home, fit for the gods.
Sub Syncronized by Vichet Mam www.youtube.com/vichetmam


【TED-Ed】National Geographic - Ancient Megastructures Angkor Wat HD (Multi-lang Sub)

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VoiceTube 2013 年 6 月 13 日 に公開
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