The site of Angkor was rediscovered by the West world through the accounts of Portuguese trader Diogo do Couto (dated 1558 to 1588) and the accounts of French botanist Henri Mouhot which were published in French in 1863 and in English in 1868. In 1863, Cambodia became a French Protectorate.
Why was Angkor Wat abandoned?
The cause of the Angkor empire’s demise in the early 15th century long remained a mystery. But researchers have now shown that intense monsoon rains that followed a prolonged drought in the region caused widespread damage to the city’s infrastructure, leading to its collapse.