Lost Art Discovered on Walls of Angkor Wat Temple

Posted on June 4, 2014

Noel Hidalgo Tan, a rock art researcher from Australian National University (ANU), discovered hidden lost art on the walls of Cambodia's ancient Angkor Wat temple. The art is at least 500 years old. It shows deities, animals, boats and the temple.

Tan says in a statement, "I was walking through the temple on a lunch break and I saw some pigments on the wall. I took some pictures, but didn't think they would be anything special."

Tan took photographs of pigments he saw on the walls. When he enhanced the images on his computer he was amazed to see the paintings emerge.

Tan says, "It was an amazing moment. I didn't expect the images would be so elaborate and detailed."

The Angkor Wat site attracts two million visitors per year, yet the paintings went unnoticed. The image below shows how the art was hidden to the naked eye. The top part of the image shows what the image looked like before being digitally enhanced. The remnants were thought to be graffiti left by earlier travelers to the temple before Tan's discovery.

A research paper on the discovery is published here in the UK journal, Antiquity. The Smithsonian reports that over 200 hidden paintings were discovered.

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