The Discovery of Angkor

For nearly a hundred years, travellers and archaeologists have been investigating the mysterious ruins of Angkor. Today, writes Michael Sullivan, much of the mystery has been dispelled; but these relics of a vanished civilization still preserve their beauty and dignity.

Facade of Angkor Wat, a drawing by Henri Mouhot, c. 1860The place is Angkor Thom, capital of the Khmer empire. The year, 1296. The wide street leading eastwards from the Royal Palace to the Gate of Victory is thronged with an expectant crowd, for word has passed that the King is coming. In the shadow of a building a Chinese gentleman, silent, dignified, observant, stands watching the scene. The street is lined with wooden thatch-roofed shops.

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