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In the year 802 C.E., the founder of the medieval Khmer empire, Jayavarman II, anointed himself "king of the world." In laying claim to such a grandiose title, he was a little ahead of his time: It would be another few centuries before the Khmers built Earth's largest religious monument, Angkor Wat, the crowning glory of a kingdom that stood in what is today northwestern Cambodia. But Jayavarman II had good reason to believe that his nascent kingdom, in the sacred Kulen hills northeast of Angkor, was a record-holder.
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