Modern technology has allowed researchers to reveal previously invisible ancient imagery on the walls of the spectacular Cambodian monument of Angkor Wat:
Noel Hidalgo Tan, a rock-art researcher from Australia, was working on an excavation at Angkor Wat in 2010 when bits of the red pigment caught his eye. He took some photos with a bright flash. Then he put his photos through through decorrelation stretch analysis, which exaggerate the colour contrast. The technique is commonly used to enhance rock art as well as NASA’s Opportunity Rover’s Martian landscapes.
All of a sudden, monkeys, elephants, boats and buildings leapt out from the walls. Tan eventually found 200 of these paintings all over the temple… One particular stretch on the highest tier in Angkor Wat’s central tower features elaborate scenes with musical instruments and people on horseback.
Archaeologists believe the murals were painted centuries after Angkor Wat was constructed, as a number show Buddhist iconography (the monument was a Hindu temple until the late 12th century).
Original Paper: The Hidden Paintings of Angkor Wat
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