Archaeologists gave the military the idea to use aerial photographs for spying and field survey. We are fortunate that the spatial and spectral resolutions of the imagery available to us are so broadly useful for archaeology.

Sarah Parcak

Sarah Parcak

Profession: Archaeologist
Nationality: American

Some suggestions for you :

Indiana Jones is old school; we've moved on from Indy. Sorry, Harrison Ford.

What we did is we used NASA topography data to map out the landscape, very subtle changes. We started to be able to see where the Nile used to flow.

When you think about archaeology, archaeology is the only field that allows us to tell the story of 99 percent of our history prior to 3,000 B.C. and writing.

What is amazing to me as an archaeologist is that the more and more I study, I realize we are resilient, we are creative, we are brilliant, and this is what makes us human, and that hasn't changed since we've been human.

Itjtawy was ancient Egypt's capital for over four hundred years, at a period of time called the Middle Kingdom about four thousand years ago. The site is located in the Faiyum of Egypt, and the site is really important because in the Middle Kingdom there was this great renaissance for ancient Egyptian art, architecture and religion.

I think archaeologists are stuck, and we are losing our past at a very rapid rate. Tens of thousands of sites will be lost, and we've only unveiled a tiny percent of the past.

We've got to map all of our ancient history before it's gone because, let's face it, if we don't have a common heritage to share, something to get excited about, then what are we living for?

If you find a series of linear shapes in the same alignment as known archaeological features, and they match excavated examples, you still need to excavate to confirm, but you can be fairly sure that the imagery is accurate.

Choosing an unconventional career path - I am not a traditional Egyptologist by any means. I found what I love, and I have stuck with it.

Seeing sites and features in places where we never looked or never thought things might exist is causing archaeologists across the world to think deeper about their sites or entire cultures.

I give my grandfather, Dr Harold Young, a forestry Professor at the University of Maine, full credit for my career path. He pioneered the use of aerial photography in forestry in the 1950s, and we think he worked as a spy for the CIA during the Cold War, mapping Russian installations.

Looting has an immense impact on our ability to understand our global cultural heritage; once these objects are gone, so too is our chance of piecing together humanity's shared story.

There are so many previously unknown sites and structures all over the world. And I think most importantly what satellites help to show us is we've actually only found a fraction of a percent of ancient settlements and sites all over the world.

I am part of a network of people monitoring what's happening at ancient sites in Iraq and Syria - from space. We can see clearly the destruction.