Khmer warriors of Angkor's heyday rode elephants into battle, as seen in this computer illustration based on relief sculptures at an Angkor temple.
Although the city thrived for six centuries, Angkor was no stranger to strife.
A Thai royal document, for example, records the invasion and sacking of the city in the mid-1400s. Modern looting still threatens Angkor temples, many of which are beyond the UN World Heritage site boundaries that protect Angkor Wat. (See pictures of new World Heritage sites named in 2007.)