Tokyo, Jan 22 : A team of Japanese archeologists have discovered a man-made water channel in northwest Cambodia used for rituals as far back as the first century, which dates back the Khmer civilization by six to eight centuries.
The site - Snay village in Banteay Meanchey Province, is located about 370 km northwest of Phnom Penh, or about 70 km west of Siem Reap Province, which is home to Angkor Wat.
"Before, it was said that Khmer civilization started from the seventh to ninth century AD, but based on our research here, Khmer civilization went back to the first century AD," said Yoshinori Yasuda, a professor of the International Research Center for Japanese Studies in Kyoto.
According to the Japan Times Online, the discovered water channel may be the world's oldest, or some 600 years older than the Tikal ruins in Guatemala in the seventh to ninth centuries.
"Khmer civilization established a very well-organized and harmonized water system. They constructed a perfect water circulation system (up to and including) the Angkor Wat period between the ninth and 12th centuries," said Yasuda.
The archaeological team also found sacred mounds or altars at the ruins in Snay village in Banteay Meanchey Province under a two-year project that began in January 2007.