A team of archaeologists from Australia has discovered an ancient city that had been buried under the jungles of Cambodia for more than 1,000 years. The 1,200-year-old city, known as Mahendraparvata, was uncovered in the Siem Reap region of Cambodia, atop a mountain known as Phnom Kulen, where thousands of pilgrims used to perform spiritual ceremonies. As The Age reports, the city is believed to predate the famed Angkor Wat temple complex (pictured above) by 350 years.
As many as 40,000 people may have lived in Chactun during its heyday, according to Reuters. The city is covers about 54 acres of land, and its nearest neighbor is Xpujil, an ancient Mayan town also in ruins, about 10 miles away. The team that found Chactun was led by archeologist Ivan Sprajc, from the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts. Sprajc told Reuters that the city was completely covered in jungle growth and vegetation when they came across it, but that they have evidence that other people had visited the city about 20 to 30 years ago. "Lumberjacks and gum extractors were certainly already there, because we saw cuts on the trees," Sprajc said in the report. "What happened is they never told anyone.