Category Archives: Satellite Archaeology

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This professor of anthropology comments on the ethics and future trajectory of space archaeology in the region of the Middle East.

For almost 20 years, Sarah Parcak, professor of anthropology at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, has combed through satellite images of Egypt and the Middle East to find clues to ancient landscapes. 


Courtesy of Sarah Parcak

Parcak’s resume is impressive. She won the $1 million 2016 TED prize, has written a seminal textbook on satellite archaeology, as well as numerous other scholarly publications on the topic. 

She’s also the director of the Joint Lisht Mission with Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities, excavating the extensive ancient cemetery and Middle-Kingdom pyramids of Lisht, 65km south of Cairo. 

Nature Middle East asks Parcak about her expertise with satellite archaeology in the region.

What is satellite archaeology or space archaeology?

It is remote sensing using both airborne and space platforms as different ways to look at the

Read more at: http://www.satnews.com/story.php?number=2114487157

What lies beneath: Satellite archaeology in the Middle East

Courtesy of Sarah Parcak

For almost 20 years, Sarah Parcak, professor of anthropology at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, has combed through satellite images of Egypt and the Middle East to find clues to ancient landscapes. 

Parcak’s resume is impressive. She won the $1 million 2016 TED prize, has written a seminal textbook on satellite archaeology, as well as numerous other scholarly publications on the topic. 

She’s also the director of the Joint Lisht Mission with Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities, excavating the extensive ancient cemetery and Middle-Kingdom pyramids of Lisht, 65km south of Cairo. 

Nature Middle East asks Parcak about her expertise with satellite archaeology in the region.

What is satellite archaeology or space archaeology?

It is remote sensing using both airborne and space platforms as different ways to look at the Earth’s surface for things

Read more at: http://www.natureasia.com/en/nmiddleeast/article/10.1038/nmiddleeast.2017.132

Archaeologist Wins $1 Million Prize for Discovering Hidden Historic Tunnels

Robot discovers three unexplored passages in 2,000-year-old tunnel ...

Archaeologist Sarah Parcak has received a $1 million 2016 TED award for inventing a technology that allows her to spot hidden tunnels in historic sites that are being raided. She plans to use the technology against groups in the Middle East that use ancient treasures and artifacts to fund their terrorism plans.

Parcak calls her invention “space archaeology” as it explores the world’s cultural heritage that could possibly help nations to fight off looters and terrorists from obtaining these treasures in exchange for money.

The weapon she created is totally non-violent, but will be of huge help for law enforcement agencies to stop one of the possible sources of income among terrorists – targeting ancient treasures by stealing.

Sarah Parcak

Read more at: https://www.thenewsindependent.com/archaeologist-wins-1-million-prize-for-discovering-hidden-historic-tunnels/6187/

Secrets for successful science communication: Story-selling, sciencetelling, your passionate self

Want to get the secret sauce for effective communication of science? Three of National Geographic’s most famous explorers shared their advice and experience at the National Geographic Explorers Festival in Washington, D.C. today.

Story-selling, in three acts

Photograph on Enric Sala by Randall Scott/NGS.

National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Enric Sala is founder and leader of Pristine Seas, a National Geographic project launched in 2008 to explore and help save the last wild places in the ocean. Pristine Seas has helped create 13 marine reserves covering some 4.4 million square kilometers. Here’s his magic formula:

We have a very clear goal, which is to convince country leaders to protect very wonderful places in large marine reserves — areas without fishing, drilling, mining — places we set aside for nature. Convincing that person takes a rational side, science and economics, and it also takes an emotional side, which

Read more at: http://voices.nationalgeographic.com/2017/06/15/secrets-for-successful-science-communication-story-selling-sciencetelling-your-passionate-self/

A ‘space archaeologist’ is creating something absolutely incredible

A space archaeologist is creating something absolutely incredible

University of Alabama professor Sarah and self-described “space archaeologist” Sarah Parcak won a $1 million TED Prize in 2015 for using satellite imagery to find archaeological sites that had become hidden over time. Now, she’s using that money to launch an amazing new platform called GlobalXplorer, allowing anybody in the world to seek out the ancient mysterious of human civilization anywhere on Earth.

It’s the culmination of two decades worth of academic research into “space archaeology,” which involves using infrared imagery and satellites to spot potential new sites. GlobalXplorer has a user-friendly interface and helps seekers find signs of things like encroachment, looting pits and other indicators archaeologists use to find new sites.

The “looting” module is already live for Peru, allowing users to examine 200,000 square kilometers of high-resolution satellite images produced by DigitalGlobe, Inc. All it takes

Read more at: http://www.babwnews.com/2017/01/a-space-archaeologist-is-creating-something-absolutely-incredible/

Forget the Shovel, Ancient Finds Now Made From Space

Badgers discovered the burial site of 12th century Slavic warriors and a Stonehenge cremation burial. The Lascaux cave paintings were discovered by four schoolchildren and a dog. The 5,000-year-old corpse of Ötzi was discovered when hikers happened upon in the Alps. The Rosetta Stone was discovered by French soldiers expanding their fort.

Many discoveries in archaeology have happened this way, by accident. But archaeology now has much better tools than badgers and lucky amateurs with shovels.

Read more at: https://www.seeker.com/forget-the-shovel-ancient-finds-now-made-from-space-2176790870.html

The view from space of a country’s disappearing culture

Documenting the destruction of Syria’s cultural fabric is a daunting task for archaeologists. “We always say it can’t get any worse, and then it does — and that’s the hardest part,” says Allison Cuneo, project manager for the American Schools of Oriental Research’s Cultural Heritage Initiative (CHI), which documents the loss of Syrian heritage.

CHI reported 851 incidents of damage to cultural heritage between September 2015 and August 2016, mostly concentrated in areas of northern Syria controlled by forces opposed to President Bashar al-Assad.

With such extensive damage, there “is so much data on destruction to report, it’s like holding the ocean back with a broom,” says Michael Danti, the academic director of CHI.

In Syria satellite archaeology, the use of high-resolution satellite images to identify historical and archaeological features on the ground, has “shifted from the discovery of new sites to predominately monitoring sites we cannot physically go to or are

Read more at: http://www.natureasia.com/en/nmiddleeast/article/10.1038/nmiddleeast.2016.223

Long-Lost Pyramids Found?



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The structures were spotted last year by amateur satellite archaeologist Angela Micol. She used Google Earth 5,000 miles away in North Carolina.

Mysterious, pyramid-like structures spotted in the Egyptian desert by an amateur satellite archaeologist might be long-lost pyramids after all, according to a new investigation into the enigmatic mounds.

Angela Micol, who last year found the structures using Google Earth 5,000 miles away in North Carolina, says puzzling features have been uncovered during a preliminary ground proofing expedition, revealing cavities and shafts.

PHOTOS: Satellite Images May Point to Pyramids

“Moreover, it has emerged these formations are labeled as pyramids on several old and rare maps,” Micol told Discovery News.

Located about 90

Read more at: http://www.seeker.com/long-lost-pyramids-found-1767655411.html

Satellite Technology Suggests New Viking Site in Canada

Penned in the 12th and 13th centuries, the Icelandic Sagas chronicle the exploits of the Vikings, seafaring adventurers and warriors who left their native Scandinavia starting in the 8th century and began traveling the world. Their journeys, preserved in earlier oral narratives before Icelandic monks recorded them in the written sagas, took them to the Middle East, Asia, North Africa and throughout Europe. The Vikings focused particularly on the British Isles and the North Atlantic, founding settlements in what are now Iceland and Greenland.

Leif Eriksson statue at MN state capitolAfter visiting his ancestral homeland of Norway around A.D. 1000, Leif Eriksson converted to Christianity and began trying to spread the faith among the pagan settlers of Greenland, the Viking colony founded by his father, Erik the Red. According to the Icelandic Sagas, Eriksson then led an expedition west across the Atlantic

Read more at: http://www.history.com/news/satellite-technology-suggests-new-viking-site-in-canada

Space Archaeologist Wants Your Help to Fight Looting

For Parcak, the study was a call to action. Rather than just counting holes in the ground, she wanted to develop a new way to protect ancient sites. “The reality is we are losing the battle against looting,” Parcak says. “Archaeologists have limited resources, and we need to scale up big time.”  

Read more at: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/02/160216-ted-prize-sarah-parcak-satellite-archaeology/