Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Satellite imagery of the pyramid of Amenemhet II, a Middle Kingdom ruler.  Looting of the site was particularly bad between 2012 and 2013.  The dark dots in the upper third of the image clearly show looters' pits. (Image used with kind permission of Sarah Parcak.)

Satellite archaeologist Sarah Parcak examines an image. (Photo used with kind permission of Sarah Parcak.)

            This article is about an archaeologist, Sarah Parcak, who is using satellite imagery to find and protect archaeological sites around the globe, especially in the Middle East and Egypt. Parcak looks at the infrared bands to help distinguish the difference between rocks and the ruins of ancient temples and tombs. By using remote sensing, she has been able to find seventeen potential unknown pyramids, more than one thousand tombs, and three thousand settlements throughout Egypt. With the discovery of these places there is hope that Parcak’s work will protect these archaeological sites from destruction and prevent the severe looting that is taking place at these sites. The satellite image above shows the pyramid of Amenemhet II. In this image, Parcak and her team have identified that the dark dots around the pyramid are where looters have dug pits into the ground.


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