Technology and archaeology go hand in hand, no doubt and a problem archaeologists often face is the inability to scope new digging grounds. The problem occurs for a variety of reasons like topographical conditions, wrong educated guesses, budgets and sometimes even politics. This is where Google Earth comes in.
An Australian archaeologist David Kennedy has found 1,977 new archeological sites in and around Saudi Arabia using Google Earth. Kennedy, who is from the University of Western Australia, used Google's Navigation system to bypass the country's security concerns and scanned 770 square miles. He identified 1,977 archaeological sites and asked a non-archaeology friend in Saudi Arabia to drive out to those sites and photograph them. The pictures showed man made structured proving that the sites were indeed of interest. Of those structures, 1,082 seem to be 'pendants' which are a type of tomb, made of tear drop-shaped stone that was used predominantly in ancient Arabia.
There have been other instances of GPS technology helping uncover human history. This technology was used last year to identify a major Mesoamerican city as it transitioned to empire, as well as identify a collection of ancient Roman medicine (by using a database of medicine history). Google Earth was also used to identify a site which helped identify an as of yet unknown human ancestor.
Publish date: February 7, 2011 11:38 am| Modified date: December 18, 2013 7:17 pm