An aerial view of Angkor Wat.

This Ancient Mega City Was the Largest Pre-Industrial in the World

Covered in countless intricately carved ancient temples, the ancient city is believed to have been home to more than 500,000 people.


Of all the tremendous pre-industrial cities of the world, which one do you think was the largest? Hidden deep within the beautiful and rich Cambodian jungle are the remnants of a city like no other. Covered in countless intricately carved ancient temples, the city of Angkor has no match. According to surveys over the years, Angkor was the largest pre-industrial city on the planet. It was home to a complex infrastructural system and connected more than one thousand square kilometers of building, all the way to its well-known temples, erected at the city’s core.

A hydraulic city

Angkor is what experts like to refer to as a hydraulic city. Its builders constructed it with a complex water management network unlike any other. No other contemporaneous city had anything like it. The vast water management network was used for various functions, including stabilizing, storing, and dispersing water across the city. We can say that Angkor is a lost world on its own.


The Temple of Angkor Wat

Although Angkor was the largest pre-industrial city in the world, its fame comes from Angkor Wat. Many experts consider this ancient temple the largest, most impressive religious structure in the entire world. It is covered with breathtaking long corridors covered in intricately carved bas reliefs. The temple was erected by King Suryavarman II. it is certainly one of the most majestic of all.

Angkor, the largest pre-industrial city

Angkor was a beautifully planned city. Experts estimate that by the year thousand, Angkor reached its zenith, becoming one of the largest inhabited cities in the entire world. Furthermore, its designers made sure to build a unique city. Its stunning grid layout featuring straight lines can be appreciated today from the air. Estimates suggest the city was home to more than 500,000 people.


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Written by Ivan Petricevic

I've been writing passionately about ancient civilizations, history, alien life, and various other subjects for more than eight years. You may have seen me appear on Discovery Channel's What On Earth series, History Channel's Ancient Aliens, and Gaia's Ancient Civilizations among others.

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