August 22, 2019

Lost pyramids spotted by satellite

Two of the lost pyramids were found at the major Sakkara archaeological site.

A satellite survey of Egypt has reveled seventeen lost pyramids as well as 1.000 tombs and 3,000 settlements.

The satellite photos were using infra-red images which are able to show buildings and structures buried underground.

Initial excavations have confirmed some of the findings including of two suspected pyramids.

“To excavate a pyramid is the dream of every archaeologist,” says Dr Sarah Parcak.

She has pioneered the work in space archaeology from a Nasa-sponsored laboratory in Birmingham, Alabama and says she was amazed at how much she and her team have found.

“We were very intensely doing this research for over a year. I could see the data as it was emerging, but for me the “A-Ha” moment was when I could step back and look at everything that we’d found and I couldn’t believe we could locate so many sites all over Egypt.”

The team analysed images from satellites orbiting 700km above the earth, equipped with cameras so powerful they can pin-point objects less than 1m in diameter on the earth’s surface.

Ancient Egyptians built their houses and structures out of mud brick, which is much denser than the soil that surrounds it, so the shapes of houses, temples and tombs can be seen.

“It just shows us how easy it is to underestimate both the size and scale of past human settlements,” says Dr Parcak.

She said “the most exciting moment was visiting the excavations at Tanis.”

“They’d excavated a 3,000 year old house that the satellite imagery had shown and the outline of the structure matched the satellite imagery almost perfectly. That was real validation of the technology.”

Newswarped likes this clever use of satellite technology. This is removing a lot of the quess-work out of archaeology.

The infrared image on the right reveals the buried city of Tanis.