Thursday, May 26, 2011

Found in space: Satellite-red imaging locates the lost pyramids of Egypt

By Rob Crilly, The Daily Telegraph
Seventeen lost pyramids and more than 1,000 tombs have been found in a new satellite survey of Egypt. Scientists at the University of Alabama also found 3,000 ancient settlements using a new technique of infra-red imaging.
The astonishing results have been confirmed by archaeologists with picks and shovels, who have located two of the pyramids found from space.
"I could see the data as it was emerging, but for me the 'aha' moment was when I could step back and look at everything that we'd found," Dr Sarah Parcak told the BBC. The team analysed images from satellites orbiting 400 miles above the Earth, equipped with cameras so powerful they could pinpoint objects less than a yard in diameter.
Infra-red imaging was then used to highlight different materials under the surface. Because the ancient Egyptians built houses from mud brick, which is much denser than surrounding soil, they left a clear fingerprint that the researchers could identify as tombs, pyramids or homes.
Dr Parcak believes many more buildings are buried deeper than those already spotted - even under the Nile.
"These are just the sites close to the surface. There are many thousands of additional sites that the Nile has covered with silt," she said.
Dr Parcak added: "Indiana Jones is old school, we've moved on from Indy, sorry Harrison Ford."
© Copyright (c) The Daily Telegraph

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