Hey guys, today we are going to look at this
ancient Hindu temple called Preah Vihear in Cambodia, and we see there is this INSANE
amount of rocks piled everywhere. These blocks were once a part of this 1000 year old temple,
but due to a war between Thailand and Cambodia, most of the temple has been destroyed. But,
these dismantled blocks show us some very interesting insights about ancient rock cutting
technology. Look at the amount of Cuts you see on these
stone blocks, there are so many sizes and shapes. There are square slots, or cube like
cuts. There are circular holes, look at these perfect circular holes drilled in. How was
this possible 1000 years ago? And here, you can see this T shaped cut carved at one of
the edges of this stone block. What could have been the purpose of this?
May be liquid metal was poured into it to clamp it to its neighboring block. This is
commonly known as Keystone Cut, or Ancient metal clamping technology. We can put 2 blocks
side by side with t shaped cuts and then pour molten metal into them and they will become
inseparable, as the metal solidifies to become a clamp.
It is also possible that this is a female slot and the neighboring block was set up
with a T like male projection, so they both could fit perfectly. All these fittings are
on the inside of the blocks, this is why we do not see them on the outside. On the outside,
if you see the walls, you do not see details like this. Here you see something very interesting,
a small wedge like stone block placed inside. This is a very interesting technology employed
in this temple. What is the purpose of this? Normally, you would think the builders accidentally
left a hole and later they covered it up with a small block. But ancient builders of Cambodia
were master stone masons. Remember, I already showed you how they assembled
stone blocks of various sizes with ease, and you don’t see any joints even in corner blocks.
Let us look at another example. Here again you see a small wedge shaped stone plugged
in. What is the secret behind this? Inside, there must be an interlocking system with
holes and this wedge actually works as a dowel or a fastener which goes through all the holes
set up inside. Today, carpenters use dowels to fasten multiple
blocks, but you can see how ancient Cambodians used the same technology 1000 years ago. Actually
this is not limited to ancient Cambodia, ancient Indians, Incas and Mayas also used the same
technology. Look at this stone block wall from Peru. You can see this small dowel plugged
in, which will fasten all the surrounding blocks together.
But the real question is: Why is this needed? Why can’t they just assemble all the blocks
with perfect fits without this dowel? Here is where ancient builders show us their genius,
imagine you had to dissemble the wall, imagine you have to dismantle some of the blocks.
With dowel technology, all you have to do is remove the dowel, and all these blocks
would loosen up and can be dismantled easily. Without the dowel, if everything was tightly
fit, you have to start removing each and every block starting from the top of the wall. This
is why ancient builders used these dowels. This dowel technology is especially required
for complicated, polygonal stone masonry. Most of the stone blocks are not rectangular,
they are polygonal, and such dowel technology becomes mandatory to facilitate easy dismantling.
And you may think, I don’t see any dowels on this wall, well, dowels are usually visible
on one side, and the dowels would be visible on the other side of the wall.
Look at this stone block. It has a total of 8 edges in 2d. It can be used like a rocking
chair, but it is made of one piece, it reminds me of the monolithic rocking chairs found
in Coral Castle in the United States. Believe it or not, this is one of the simpler designs
found in Preah Vihear temple, let me find something more complex. Look at this stone
for example, right? So here is the end of the stone, it goes all the way here, right?
here you can see it curves at right angle, Here is a corner, it does not end there. It
curves, it curves and goes here, again it does n’t end there, it keeps on going, again
it curves, and then again, it is there. So this is the most complex design, and we don’t
even see the end of the stone, because it is incorporated into this 900 year old temple.
This is extraordinary. Imagine having many blocks interlocked, without the dowel, it
would be impossible to dismantle them. The construction techniques of ancient Hindus
are always mesmerizing. Historians and archeologists insist that ancient Kings employed thousands
of slaves and whipped them to create this kind of stonework. But what we see here does
not fit this theory. It is so easy to build a column with normal square blocks on top
of one another, but no, the ancient builders had absolute fun making it like this, these
must have been as easy as using lego blocks for them. So, even when the modern day “civilized
people” destroyed some blocks, the column is still standing. And on the ground, partially
buried, is something priceless. Yes, it is an example of ancient machining technology,
a column is buried. In Preah Vihear temple, there are hundreds
of such columns, most of them adorn the large windows in the walls. I have already explained
how such columns are impossible to create without a lathe mechanism. So this proves
that ancient people were using machining technology, but there are hidden meanings in these columns.
Some say these 7 columns represent the 7 days of a week. These perfectly machined columns
create a strange shadow pattern. Is it possible you can tell the time and day using these
columns? Curious, I explore another area, and again
I stumble on a window with 7 columns. This causes 7 different shadows and light split
into 7 beams, but this is beyond our understanding. There is some kind of hidden meaning, some
windows have 3 columns, some have 5, and some have 7 columns.
And look at how the columns are fit to the top and bottom of the window frame, they are
so perfect, some experts claim that this entire window and the columns were carved out of
one stone block. But such a design is impossible and it would be too complicated, even today.
Because the window frames have to be cut with a straight through mechanism, and the columns
with rotating mechanism. I walk around trying to find out more about
this, and I stumble on something interesting. Here is a hole in the window where a column
would have been placed. Look at it, this is a perfect circular hole, drilled 1000 years
ago. This proves that columns were machined separately and later placed into the window
frame one by one. But the alignment is so perfect, experts find
it hard to believe these are individual pieces put together. Even more interesting, it is
said that originally these columns rotated and produced a ringing sound. I have shown
you some ringing rocks in India, but this is some strange legend, I have never seen
a rotating rock create a ringing sound. In western countries, these machined artifacts
would have been protected in museums, but in Cambodia, many of these priceless columns
are found on the ground, they were torn down because of the war between Thailand and Cambodia.
War is a terrible thing, it makes people destroy even the most incredible sites. In the last
few decades, the temple was altered by soldiers, this bunker was built and was used a makeshift
hospital to treat the wounded people. You can see concrete structures built alongside
the ancient blocks. The original structures have been removed. But this is nothing, the
temples themselves have been demolished, mostly because of the war.
This is the top most temple, the main temple and From the aerial view, you can see a huge
amount of debris strewn around, locals say this is because of bombs dropped by Thai forces.
The amount of destruction you see is shocking, the blocks which were once precisely cut and
assembled, are now in ruins. Modern humans are primitive and destructive
people, while ancient builders were quite advanced and constructive, but let us go inside
the main chamber and see what is inside. At least the central chamber is partially intact,
and I am eager to see what I will lay my eyes on. As I walk inside the chamber, I realize
there is something missing, something is wrong, it does not feel right. Inside, we see a beautiful
Ganesha statue, the popular Elephant God of India. I give my prayers, but the vibration
is wrong. The pyramidal structure on the top is nearly intact, and even though most Cambodians
have converted from Hinduism to Buddhism now, they have been gracious enough to set up a
Hindu deity in the chamber. Yes, now I realize that this is a new statue, this is not the
original one which was set up in ancient times. Remember I told you the inscriptions in the
temple mention a deity called Shikareswara? Originally, a lingam which looked like Mount
Kailash was in this place, and now it is gone. Near the entrance, there is a curious rectangle.
This was the square where Nandhi, the mount of Shiva would have been originally placed.
Now that is also gone. I wonder why such deliberate destruction was necessary. Where is this lingam
now? When I come outside and put my shoes back
on, I am somehow drawn towards a nearby tree, and as I go near the tree, I find exactly
what I wanted. This is the base of the lingam. The base is sitting right here, just outside
the chamber, and the cylinder in the center must have been destroyed. It has a square
hole inside, and has 4 slots cut, pointing to 4 different directions. A lingam looking
like Mount Kailash would have been set in the middle.
Cambodia has thousands of such remnants of a rich past, lying in ruins. I try to see
if I can somehow find the main cylinder, the lingam. Finding it would be amazing, because
I have never seen a lingam which looks like Mount Kailash. Perhaps the lingam is stuck
inside the debris, I can still feel its presence nearby.
Coming back to ancient technology, The blocks you see have multiple holes on them. What
is the need for these holes to be drilled on the stone blocks? Archeologists have a
strange theory about these holes. But, I will reveal this in my next video. I hope you liked
this video, I am Praveen Mohan, thanks a lot for watching, don’t forget to subscribe and
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