A joint team of Australian and Cambodian researchers has discovered hidden 500 year-old wall paintings at Angkor Wat temple in Cambodia, local media reported Friday.
The paintings depict musicians, elephants and gods and there are also grafitti-like images of people and buildings, and evidence of contact with Europeans.
By using advanced digital photography and a technique known as decorrelation stretch analysis, the researchers have made the very faint paintings visible for the first time in centuries, Australian Broadcasting Corporation news reported.
Australian National University researcher Noel Hidalgo Tan said he noticed faint traces of the pictures at the Angkor complex in 2010 while working on an excavation.
"I saw those paintings on the wall, I thought there might be something there, so I took a photograph of them," he said.
"I processed them in the computer later and realized that they were elaborate paintings, and not just traces of pigment."
The archaeologist also said the paintings point to contact with Europeans.
"Angkor isn't particularly close to the sea, but we have different sorts of water crafts depicted, even European ships, indicating some contact with Europeans at the time," he said. Endi