Space archaeologist Sarah Parcak is a modern-day Indiana Jones. She analyzes satellite imagery in order to find ancient sites hidden from view. With GlobalXplorer, an online platform using the power of the crowd to find, protect and monitor archaeological sites, Parcak is empowering others to be their own “armchair archaeologists”—people like Doris Jones. At 90 years old, Jones is one of the leading contributors to GlobalXplorer, having mapped out thousands of sites all from the comfort of her home. Thanks to people like Jones, Parcak is revolutionizing modern archaeology and rewriting human history as we know it.
Satellites are a formidable way to find lost ancient cities, to search for evidence of looting, and more. Parcak founded the crowdsourcing program with TED Prize funds, as well as support from National Geographic and DigitalGlobe. Great Big Story documents Jones’ contributions in the video above: She’s 90 and a Space Archaeologist, All Thanks to a TED Talk.
Here’s her TED Talk from 2016 and one from 2012. Plus, a quick explainer from National Geographic: What is Space Archaeology?
Want to help? Become a space archaeologist and document threats to ancient sites.
Related reading: Images help tell our shared human story, Armchair archaeology: find lost civilisations using your laptop, and Lasers are creating an archaeological revolution.Next: A Real-Life Bone Collector: Recovering an Extinct Human Ancestor, Flying a drone over Sudan’s 3,000 year old Nubian Pyramids, a cliff wall full of dinosaur footprints in Spain, Satellite Tracks Saharan Dust to Amazon in 3-D, and more from Great Big Story on this site.
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