Sunday, December 9, 2012

Amazing New Satellite Archaeology






Egypt's lost pyramids: Spied from space by satellite, 17 tombs buried by sands of time


By Fiona Macrae




  • More than 1,000 tombs and 3,000 ancient settlements found
  • Findings are a major boost to relatively new science of space archaeology

Indiana Jones found success with little more than a bullwhip and a fedora. These days however, if you want to make your mark as an archaeologist, a bit of space technology works wonders.
Satellites have helped locate 17 pyramids and 3,000 ancient settlements hidden underground in Egypt.
More than 1,000 burial sites were also discovered thanks to infra-red technology capable of probing beneath the desert sands from 450 miles above the Earth.
Pyramid of Djoser: Many more are thought to be buried underground. The cameras on the satellites are so powerful that they can precisely image objects on Earth that are less than one metre in diametre
Pyramid of Djoser: Many more are thought to be buried underground. The cameras on the satellites are so powerful that they can precisely image objects on Earth that are less than one metre in diameter
Astounded researchers on the ground have already confirmed that two of the pyramids exist - and they believe there are thousands more unknown sites in the region.
NASA-funded archaeologist Sarah Parcak said: ‘I couldn’t believe we could locate so many sites. To excavate a pyramid is the dream of every archaeologist.’
The finds are hugely significant. Until the latest discoveries there were thought to have been almost 140 pyramids across Egypt.
But experts have long argued that there must be many more that remain undiscovered, buried by the sands of time. Dr Parcak, from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, analysed images from satellites equipped with cameras so powerful they can zoom in on objects less than three feet in diameter on the Earth’s surface.
Saqqara satellite shot
The amazing satellite images have revealed pyramids and ancient homes
A satellite image of an area of Tanis that shows the city to be littered with underground tombs.
Ancient streetmap: A satellite image shows Tanis to be a city littered with underground tombs. Buildings in ancient Egypt were constructed out of mud brick - the material is dense, allowing satellites orbiting above Earth to photograph the outlines of structures invisible to the human eye
Hidden history: This image of Tanis shows the difference between what the naked eye can see and the underground details that the high-powered satellite camera can pick up
Hidden history: This image of Tanis shows the difference between what the naked eye can see and the underground details that the high-powered satellite camera can pick up


THE LOST ARK IN A LOST CITY?

HARRISON FORD AS INDIAN JONES
In Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, Tanis is named as the final resting place of the Ark of the Covenant.

The film chronicles the archaeologist adventurer's race against the Nazis to recover the Ark - which they want as they believe it will make them invincible.

With the help of his dead mentor's daughter Marion - an old girlfriend of his - tracks down the Well of Souls, the secret chamber in which the Ark is buried, before they do.

From the Well of Souls he recovers the Ark, but the Nazis steal it off them.

But when they open it to unleash its power, it releases a stream of demonic apparitions which destroy those who look at them.
Dr Parcak told the BBC: '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.'
The mud bricks used by ancient Egyptians are much denser than the sand and soil that surrounds them, allowing the shapes of homes, temples, tombs and other structures built thousands of years ago to be seen by satellites orbiting 435miles above Earth to photograph the outlines of structures invisible to the human eye.

The cameras on the satellites are so powerful that they can precisely image objects on Earth that are less than one metre in diameter.
The researchers' findings are a major boost to the relatively new science of space archaeology.
Their most promising excavations are taking place in Tanis, the hiding place of the Ark of the Covenant in the 1981 Indiana Jones blockbuster Raiders of the Lost Ark, where they are uncovering a 3,000-year-old house.
Excitingly, the outline of the house exactly matches the shape seen on the satellite images.
Two pyramids at Saqqara – the burial ground for the ancient capital of Memphis – have already been confirmed by excavations and the site is being hailed as one of the most important in Egyptian archaeology. The oldest pyramids ever discovered were built in Saqqara around 2,600BC.


Only the beginning: Archaeologist Dr Sarah Parcak points out the site of a buried pyramid on a satellite image
Only the beginning: Archaeologist Dr Sarah Parcak points out the site of a buried pyramid on a satellite image
The camera's high level of accuracy has impressed the Egyptian government, which now plans to use the technology to identify and protect its colossal heritage in the future.
Dr Parcak, whose work will feature in the BBC documentary Egypt’s Lost Cities on Monday, believes that there are many more buildings buried deeper than those already spotted, the most likely location being under the banks of the River Nile.
She said: 'These are just the sites close to the surface. There are many thousands of additional sites that the Nile has covered over with silt.
'This is just the beginning of this kind of work.'

Digging deep: The archaeologists' most promising excavations are taking place in the ancient city of Tanis
Digging deep: The archaeologists' most promising excavations are taking place in the ancient city of Tanis
She told the BBC: ‘It just shows us how easy it is to underestimate both the size and scale of past human settlements.
‘These are just the sites [close to] the surface. There are many thousands of additional sites that the Nile has covered over with silt. This is just the beginning of this kind of work.’
She said the technology could be used to monitor the looting of antiquities, as well as to engage young people around the world in science and help archaeologists in their quest to uncover the secrets of the past.
The archaeologist said, ‘We have to think bigger and that’s what the satellites allow us to do. Indiana Jones is old school. We’ve moved on from Indy, sorry Harrison Ford.’
A hidden chamber unseen for 4,500 years may have been discovered inside the Great Pyramid of Giza. A robotic probe designed by British engineers found hieroglyphs inside a tunnel that leads from the pyramid’s Queen’s chamber, New Scientist magazine reports. Cameras have also sent back images of a stone door which it is thought could lead to a hidden chamber.

The comments below have not been moderated.
The Giza Pyramid is housing to sheild the radiation from the ark of the covenant, the whole structure is used for some kind of power apparatus, water is involved somehow, probably a cooling purpose for the ark which is theorised to be atomic, the marble/granite box in the Kings chamber for the Ark and not Khufus burial monument, the capstone gold, a conductor. The hidden room found recently points to the likely discovery in the future that the pyramid descends under the ground in a network of tunnels, possibly for bringing water up to the upper chambers and I'd hazard a guess that it links up with the sphinx as well, under the sphinx is another room, one is for operational purpose, ie water direction a bit like train tracks being switched to a new line. The shafts have copper ropes fed into them and also a quartz or diamond wand in the other one to power a laser type beam. If we use the process of elimination as science does then this hypothesis would be worth ironing out a bit.
Click to rate Rating 2
This is just amazing! I hate that this is taking from "real Archaeologiet work." You have to keep in mind also that these people spend 15 plus years and learning new languages just to learn from the books that teach them this line of work. But out with the old and in with the new? Anyway this is big news. I was glad to read that a pyramid was found at Saqqara and Memphis. The 12 dynasty was said to be the Goldin years of Egypt yet we can't found the capital temple of this dynasty. You can read about it on stelas around Egypt. During the 12th dynasty Egypt was brought together and united as one. In honor of this come about a place called It-tawy (ruler of two lands) It is thought that this place would be located somewhere around Saqqara to Lake Moeris. This would be one of the biggest discoveries to find this place to see Egypt at it's best. And with this new technology were just one step closer.
Click to rate Rating 15
I'll bet that this can be used to find hidden (buried) WMD's or Nuclear Sites. If not? WhyNot? ~Rick Magee, Fl
Click to rate Rating 14
I bet this is also used to pinpoint hidden or burried Weaponage and Nucklear Sites as well. If not? Why Not? ~Rick Magee, Fl
Click to rate Rating 2
oh another discovery i see?well it was about time the ''british'' museum got a new exhibition about egyptian (eer sorry i meant british somehow) history...after all nobody can handle antiquities better than the proud english?isn't that so mr head of ''british''(facepalm) museum?
Click to rate Rating 107
dannyboy71, brick, nj usa, 26/5/2011 11:05 wrote "where did the native Americans come from their ancestors weren't born in America they migrated from somewhere. It is all very interesting" they came across the Beringia, a land bridge between Alaskia and Siberia. The most recient time this could have happend is approx 12,000 years ago alsthough there are many scientific hypothesis that state it was earlier.
Click to rate Rating 22
As an archaeology student, things like this make me wonder if I should specialise in this... - Megan, Bournemouth, Britain, 25/5/2011 18:15 Gosh, I am genuinely surprised that this is not part of your course! Or not offered as an accompanying qualification. Many, many years ago, some of us used to spend far too long (after completing tasking of course!) ,looking for Roman marching camps etc on UK aircraft imagery. I would have loved a career that combined history with such technology.
Click to rate Rating 29
Will someone please tell Tony Robinson and the Time Team crew about this......they may actually find something in future programs then.....
Click to rate Rating 56
Mankind has just been on the planet far longer than what we think. Buried settlements, Iheard the sphinx has water erosion on it. Carbon dating isn't accurate. The creation stories of religion are true they just happened a long, long, long time ago and were passed on and changed over time. The Europeans came to America in the early 1000's (viking), where did the native Americans come from their ancestors weren't born in America they migrated from somewhere. It is all very interesting.
Click to rate Rating 7
This is an exciting development in how archeologists will be able to uncover hidden artifacts, lost civilisations and solve some of the all consuming mysteries such as the whereabouts of Atlantis if it ever really existed. Being an avid reader of the works of Erik von Däniken, albeit with a certain amount of trepidation as to what his theory of Earth once having been visited by beings from the stars will do to how we view the universe if proven correct, I will be very interested to see if this new 'tool' will reveal signs or even proof that his theory bears any real substance. We may be in for quite an eye opening experience - as long as the findings are not suppressed and withheld from the general public.
Click to rate Rating 30


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1390667/Seventeen-lost-pyramids-thousands-buried-Egyptian-settlements-pinpointed-infrared-satellite-images.html#ixzz2Eb4z0h7s

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