Exceeding the discovery of 2,000 new archaeological sites using Google Earth, scientists have now found 17 Egyptian pyramids, 1,000 tombs and 3,000 Nile Delta settlements previously lost to sand and time.
The tech-happy group from the University of Alabama purchased imagery online from orbiting satellites and used image-filtering software to identify the locations, which they spot-checked and test-excavated in person.
Pulling down images from a satellite orbiting at a height of 400 miles but which can capture objects less than a yard across, the scientists used infrared imaging to highlight differences in soil density.
Given their use of denser mud brick for much of their construction needs, the ancient Egyptians left clear evidence of structures no longer visible to the naked eye.
In their coverage, the BBC quoted Dr. Sarah Parcak, team leader and satellite archaeology pioneer, as saying, “This is just the beginning of this kind of work…Indiana Jones is old school, we’ve moved on.”