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Cambodia's new World Heritage Site is 25 straight kilometers of ruins

PHNOM PENH -- Cambodia's Sambor Prei Kuk archaeological site was named a World Heritage site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on the weekend, making it the country's third.

Located in Kampong Thom province, the 25-kilometer site includes ruins from Ishanapura, the walled capital of the Chenla Empire which encompassed parts of present-day Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and southern Vietnam.

Built between the late 6th and 7th centuries, the site predates the internationally renowned Angkor Wat complex and played an important role in the evolution of Cambodian architecture.

The architectural style of the site's temples and other structures "are true masterpieces," according to UNESCO, and "became models for other parts of the region and lay the ground for the unique Khmer style of the Angkor period."

The photogenic location has been a growing favorite for tourists.

Cambodia is home to two other UNESCO World Heritage sites: Angkor Wat Archaeological Park and the Preah Vihear Temple complex on the border of Thailand.

UNESCO's World Heritage Committee has been meeting in Krakow.

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