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October 21 2012

Building blocks of Angkor Wat were shipped in by canal


IT IS never too late to find a shortcut. Centuries after the construction of Cambodia's Angkor Wat, archaeologists have uncovered traces of a series of canals that suggest the 5 million tonnes of sandstone used to build the temples took a far shorter route than previously thought.

The sandstone blocks each weigh up to 1.5 tonnes and originate from quarries at Mount Kulen. It was thought they were taken 35 kilometres along a canal to Tonlé Sap Lake, rafted another 35 km along the lake, then taken up the Siem Reap River for 15 km, against the current.

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