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The Cambodian Archaeological Lidar Initiative: Exploring Resilience in the Engineered Landscapes of Early SE Asia

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 CALI project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the CALI project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "CALI" about.

geoinformatics    integrating    medieval    airborne    agrarian    hypothesis    fast    laser    epicentre    marks    vulnerable    adapt    traditions    environmental    socio    sensing    vast    water    hydraulic    civilisations    archive    mainland    ad    political    inherent    persistence    archaeological    inflexible    data    circumstances    complexes    played    decline    lidar    monuments    form    rigid    resilience    constrained    cambodia    mitigate    rains    constraints    innovative    collapse    consistent    implications    transition    lay    settlements    heart    sciences    engineering    ecological    millennium    bid    for    transformation    social    thousand    elaborate    urbanism    regional    became    khmer    contemporary    dispersed    works    experimental    se    urban    temple    insights    internally    remote    stretching    map    futures    locked    middle    techniques    modern    space    monsoon    cores    human    empire    civilisation    scanning    overcome    designed    settlement    schemes    landscapes    revealed    compelling    uncover    half    density    merely    view    angkor    asia    empires    emergence    clear    environment    famous    inland    changing    cali    capital    palaeoclimatology    compare    history    immense    formed   

Project "CALI" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
city: PARIS
postcode: 75116

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country France [FR]
 Project website
 Total cost 1˙482˙843 €
 EC max contribution 1˙482˙843 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2014-STG
 Funding Scheme ERC-STG
 Starting year 2015
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2015-03-01   to  2020-02-29


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    ECOLE FRANCAISE D'EXTREME-ORIENT FR (PARIS) coordinator 1˙482˙843.00


 Project objective

For over half a millennium, the great medieval capital of Angkor lay at the heart of a vast empire stretching across much of mainland SE Asia. Recent research has revealed that the famous monuments of Angkor were merely the epicentre of an immense settlement complex, with highly elaborate engineering works designed to manage water and mitigate the uncertainty of monsoon rains. Compelling evidence is now emerging that other temple complexes of the medieval Khmer Empire may also have formed the urban cores of dispersed, low-density settlements with similar systems of hydraulic engineering.

Using innovative airborne laser scanning (‘lidar’) technology, CALI will uncover, map and compare archaeological landscapes around all the major temple complexes of Cambodia, with a view to understanding what role these complex and vulnerable water management schemes played in the growth and decline of early civilisations in SE Asia. CALI will evaluate the hypothesis that the Khmer civilisation, in a bid to overcome the inherent constraints of a monsoon environment, became locked into rigid and inflexible traditions of urban development and large-scale hydraulic engineering that constrained their ability to adapt to rapidly-changing social, political and environmental circumstances.

By integrating data and techniques from fast-developing archaeological sciences like remote sensing, palaeoclimatology and geoinformatics, this work will provide important insights into the reasons for the collapse of inland agrarian empires in the middle of the second millennium AD, a transition that marks the emergence of modern mainland SE Asia. The lidar data will provide a comprehensive and internally-consistent archive of urban form at a regional scale, and offer a unique experimental space for evaluating socio-ecological resilience, persistence and transformation over two thousand years of human history, with clear implications for our understanding of contemporary urbanism and of urban futures.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2020 Anna Cohen, Sarah Klassen, Damian Evans
Ethics in Archaeological Lidar
published pages: 76-91, ISSN: 2514-8362, DOI: 10.5334/jcaa.48
Journal of Computer Applications in Archaeology 3/1 2020-04-24
2019 Damian Evans, Christophe Pottier, Dominique Soutif
Quand la technologie LiDAR révèle l’ampleur de cités enfouies
published pages: 65-67, ISSN: 1953-793X, DOI: 10.1051/refdp/201963065
Reflets de la physique 63 2019-12-16
2019 Jean-Baptiste Chevance, Damian Evans, Nina Hofer, Sakada Sakhoeun, Ratha Chhean
Mahendraparvata: an early Angkor-period capital defined through airborne laser scanning at Phnom Kulen
published pages: 1303-1321, ISSN: 0003-598X, DOI: 10.15184/aqy.2019.133
Antiquity 93/371 2019-10-29
2019 Minerva Singh, Damian Evans, Jean-Baptiste Chevance, Boun Suy Tan, Nicholas Wiggins, Leaksmy Kong, Sakada Sakhoeun
Evaluating remote sensing datasets and machine learning algorithms for mapping plantations and successional forests in Phnom Kulen National Park of Cambodia
published pages: e7841, ISSN: 2167-8359, DOI: 10.7717/peerj.7841
PeerJ 7 2019-10-28
2018 Paolo Tarolli, Wenfang Cao, Giulia Sofia, Damian Evans, Erle C Ellis
From features to fingerprints: A general diagnostic framework for anthropogenic geomorphology
published pages: 95-128, ISSN: 0309-1333, DOI: 10.1177/0309133318825284
Progress in Physical Geography: Earth and Environment 43/1 2019-08-29
2019 Dan Penny, Tegan Hall, Damian Evans, Martin Polkinghorne
Geoarchaeological evidence from Angkor, Cambodia, reveals a gradual decline rather than a catastrophic 15th-century collapse
published pages: 4871-4876, ISSN: 0027-8424, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1821460116
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 116/11 2019-08-29
2018 Minerva Singh, Damian Evans, Jean-Baptiste Chevance, Boun Suy Tan, Nicholas Wiggins, Leaksmy Kong, Sakada Sakhoeun
Evaluating the ability of community-protected forests in Cambodia to prevent deforestation and degradation using temporal remote sensing data
published pages: 10175-10191, ISSN: 2045-7758, DOI: 10.1002/ece3.4492
Ecology and Evolution 8/20 2019-08-29
2018 Sarah Klassen, Jonathan Weed, Damian Evans
Semi-supervised machine learning approaches for predicting the chronology of archaeological sites: A case study of temples from medieval Angkor, Cambodia
published pages: e0205649, ISSN: 1932-6203, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0205649
PLOS ONE 13/11 2019-08-29
2018 Terry Lustig, Sarah Klassen, Damian Evans, Robert French, Ian Moffat
Evidence for the breakdown of an Angkorian hydraulic system, and its historical implications for understanding the Khmer Empire
published pages: 195-211, ISSN: 2352-409X, DOI: 10.1016/j.jasrep.2017.11.014
Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 17 2019-05-29
2017 Patrick Roberts, Chris Hunt, Manuel Arroyo-Kalin, Damian Evans, Nicole Boivin
The deep human prehistory of global tropical forests and its relevance for modern conservation
published pages: 17093, ISSN: 2055-0278, DOI: 10.1038/nplants.2017.93
Nature Plants 3/8 2019-05-29
2016 Damian Evans
Airborne laser scanning as a method for exploring long-term socio-ecological dynamics in Cambodia
published pages: 164-175, ISSN: 0305-4403, DOI: 10.1016/j.jas.2016.05.009
Journal of Archaeological Science Volume 74 2019-05-24
2018 Alison Carter, Piphal Heng, Miriam Stark, Rachna Chhay, Damian Evans
Urbanism and Residential Patterning in Angkor
published pages: 492-506, ISSN: 0093-4690, DOI: 10.1080/00934690.2018.1503034
Journal of Field Archaeology 43/6 2019-08-29
2018 Dan Penny, Cameron Zachreson, Roland Fletcher, David Lau, Joseph T. Lizier, Nicholas Fischer, Damian Evans, Christophe Pottier, Mikhail Prokopenko
The demise of Angkor: Systemic vulnerability of urban infrastructure to climatic variations
published pages: eaau4029, ISSN: 2375-2548, DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aau4029
Science Advances 4/10 2019-08-29

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