A picture is worth a thousand words. A satellite image is worth a million dollars.

Sarah Parcak

Sarah Parcak

Profession: Archaeologist
Nationality: American

Some suggestions for you :

Looting and site destruction are global problems. We have a tough road ahead, and one key will be developing more collaborations and using new technologies like satellite imagery.

When a wall is slowly covered over by earth, the materials it's made from decay and become part of the soils around and above it, sometimes causing vegetation above and next to the wall to grow faster or slower. Satellite imagery helps archaeologists to pick up these subtle changes.

WorldView-3 goes into the mid-infrared wavelength, allowing you to see very subtle geological differences on the sites at a 0.4-metre resolution.

It's absolutely critical, you know, to train young men and women not just to find sites, but also to protect sites, especially in the wake of the Arab Spring. There's been significant site-looting in Egypt and elsewhere across the Middle East.

The map we made of the 3,000-year-old city of Tanis requires no imagination. It has buildings, streets, admin complexes, houses - clear as day.

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.

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

What if Hiram Bingham had the technology to find hundreds of other archaeological sites at the same time and create entire 3-D maps of the ancient landscape accurate to within a few inches?

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?

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.

Satellites record data in different parts of the light spectrum that we can't see. And it's that information that allows satellites to be so powerful in terms of looking at things like vegetation health, finding different kinds of geology that may indicate an oil deposit or some kind of mineralogical deposit that can be mined.

I predict that there are hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of undiscovered ancient sites across the globe. The only way to map them and locate them quickly is from satellites.

Google Earth is an incredible resource because from hundreds of miles in space, we can zoom in, and we can find things. Everyone always looks for their house first. That is the tip of the iceberg with remote sensing.

The most exciting moment as an archaeologist happened when I was looking at the great archaeology site of Tannis, which of course we all know from 'Indiana Jones.' We got satellite imagery of the city of Tannis, we processed it, and literally from thousands of miles away from my lab in Alabama, we were able to map the entire city.