Satellite Archaeology

SacoHarry
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Joined: 9:29 PM - Aug 22, 2006

2:02 AM - Oct 23, 2011 #1

Just watched an amazing piece about an Egyptologist who is using infrared satellite imagery to reveal a wealth of never-before-known sites in Egypt -- pyramids, worker villages, even possibly one of the early (now missing) capitals.

Anyway, the tech works because the infrared light penetrates a few feet into the ground, and has accuracy down to about 1 foot.

With all the wealth of features/vici/etc. under the ground around Vindolanda (and the Wall in general), is anyone in the UK looking at satellite archaeology? It looks like a real game-changer.
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SacoHarry
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Joined: 9:29 PM - Aug 22, 2006

2:04 AM - Oct 23, 2011 #2

Here's a link to the Web site of the archaeologist featured, Dr. Sarah Parcak, University of Alabama at Birmingham, who runs the "Remote Sensing and Coring of Uncharted Egyptian Sites" project: http://www.uab.edu/history-anthropology ... ant-parcak
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Andy
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Andy
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Joined: 2:15 PM - Sep 11, 2006

6:20 PM - Oct 24, 2011 #3

Yeah, they (the TV company behind it all) briefly considered Vindo for a British sequel but wanted to film in Feb so I told them the truth about filming in the North in Feb which didn't go down well (long nights, winter, not guarantees, not sure the person who phoned me had ever been outside the London office enviro..., and after the Nat Geo last winter which was almost a disaster due to the weather etc :-)) .......but....... to be honest with you - at the moment if you cut through all the hype, I am not sure it is any better than the normal Geophysics, or even as good. In other words, once they get out of the desert and into the Nile delta....watch the results dry up.

Still, it is early days and perhaps this will at least stop the need to manually trudge across muddy fields back and forth etc :-) But be warned, every new toy is heralded as a wonder weapon for archaeologists, few are, trowel aside..

Andy
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SacoHarry
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Joined: 9:29 PM - Aug 22, 2006

6:47 PM - Oct 25, 2011 #4

Can imagine a Feb filming wouldn't be ideal!

I also imagine that with the building & rebuilding at Vindolanda, infrared satellites would be hopelessly confused! Still, it makes me wonder if it's a more efficient (cheaper) way of quickly determining, say, the extent of "urban sprawl" from fort sites. Or perhaps for finding the "missing" Stanegate east of Vindolanda -- or the fortlets that your grandfather hypothesized on but haven't been discovered yet.

It's neat to think of it anyway.
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Cestrian
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Joined: 6:57 PM - Nov 13, 2008

4:49 PM - Nov 26, 2011 #5

Presumably they are using what in the UK is called LIDAR?
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