Latest news reported that a space archaeologist wants to find ancient sites. Space archaeologist, Sarah Parcak, recently won a $1 million TED prize. Now, her plan is to find ancient sites from space. She said she wants to protect the world’s cultural history, especially when referring to ancient sites.
The recent worldwide conflicts, from Afghanistan to Syria and Egypt, have caused an explosion of destruction of cultural sites. In Egypt, ancient sites are no longer protected; they now resemble the desert. Also, in Central America criminals are pillaging the tombs without any consideration.
When she was offered the TED prize, Sarah Parcak made a public statement, saying that people should do something to protect their cultural history.
“If we don’t do something in the next couple of years to engage the world with protecting the past, it is going to be bad. We are losing the battle.”
Sarah Parcak, 36, is an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Alabama in Birmingham’s Laboratory for Global Oservation. Using the satellite imagery, she was able to discover 3, 100 deserted settlements, over 1, 000 tombs and 17 possible pyramids in Egypt. However, she claims that she and the worldwide archaeologist community as well as cultural heritage professionals cannot do this alone.
They need extra pairs of eyes to be one step ahead of the looters. Moreover, she explained the last four years have been terrible for archaeology as she and her team couldn’t do anything but look at the destructions. Now, Parcak said she is committed to use her prize to find and protect ancient sites. She also revealed she is going to create an online game-based application which will allow users to identify objects in satellite imagery.
This way, users might be able to point out archaeological sites. Each user will have access to pictures that must be scanned for evidence. If the users prove their efficiency, they will be given rewards which will unlock more information. This game will not reveal any GPS ; potential looters won’t be given any chance to get further ahead. Parcak mentioned some of the money will go to local governments which need help to protect sites discovered by the crowdsourced project.
Moreover, she believes the only way to protect the cultural heritage is to make people part of what they, as archaeologists, do. The news that a apace archaeologist wants to find ancient sites might come an innovative and surprising fact for mankind. However, Sarah Parcak is firmly decided to develop an online campaign in which anyone can take part.
Photo Credits: Wikimedia