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.

Sarah Parcak

Sarah Parcak

Profession: Archaeologist
Nationality: American

Some suggestions for you :

Archaeologists have used aerial photographs to map archaeological sites since the 1920s, while the use of infrared photography started in the 1960s, and satellite imagery was first used in the 1970s.

Scorpions like holes. We had to put our arms in the holes to dig out the smelting residues. We always performed critter checks before an excavation, but one morning, I put an arm in and felt a sharp pierce. When I brought my hand out, it was red and already swelling.

Getting permission to use a drone in Egypt was problematical.

We're using satellites to help map and model cultural features that could never be seen on the ground because they're obscured by modernization, forests, or soil.

We only have a limited amount of time left before many archaeological sites all over the world are destroyed. So we have to be really selective about where we dig.

We can tell from the imagery a tomb was looted from a particular period of time, and we can alert INTERPOL to watch out for antiquities from that time that may be offered for sale.

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.

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 dig in the sand, and I play with pretty pictures, so I never really left kindergarten.

I can't tell you the number of times I've been walking over an archaeological site. And you can't see anything on the ground, and pull back hundreds of miles in space, and all of a sudden you can see streets and roads and houses and even pyramids.

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.

There's always a little jump to your heart when you realize you've got looting.

Think about what would happen if Indiana Jones and Google Earth had a love child. I use high-resolution and NASA satellites and look for subtle differences on the surface of the earth that locate buried ancient pyramids and towns and ancient tombs, which we then go and excavate.

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.