Angkor is one of the most important archaeological sites in South-East Asia. Stretching over some 400 km2, the Angkor Archaeological Park in Cambodia contains the magnificent remains of successive capitals of the Khmer Empire, from the 9th to the 15th century. For almost a decade, the Visualising Angkor Project has used 3D modelling, 3D animation and, lately, virtual reality, to explore evidence based reconstructions of the living city of Angkor. These reconstructions draw upon data from a wide array of sources, from archaeological surveys through to historical accounts, photographic archives, textile studies and botanical references. The library of 3D models generated in the course of this research can be used to visualise hypothetical reconstructions of the past that augment and illuminate information from historical texts and archaeological surveys.
Since 2014, the research team has been researching and crafting a dynamic simulation that draws upon recent archaeological discoveries to visualise how the Angkor Wat complex might have operated almost a millennium ago. As well as creating a comprehensive virtual reconstruction the research allows an immersive analytic study of the complex, where the paths of thousands of animated ‘agents’ are tracked as they enter, exit and circulate within the temple enclosure.