Modern Technology Leads To Stunning Archaeological Discoveries In Egypt
In the past, archeological artifacts have been discovered either through big digs based on earlier finds or accidentally - during a road or building construction project. Now, some scientists are using cutting edge technology to take out the guess work from the process and what they have been able to unearth so far, can only be described as amazing.
In mid-May, a team of archeologists led by University of Alabama Egyptologist Sarah Parcack, revealed that they had been able to discern 17 new pyramids, 1,000 new tombs, and, over 3,000 buildings just below the sand in the Egyptian desert. The breakthrough came after more than a year of careful examination of existing satellite imagery of Egypt's Nile Delta obtained from NASA and commercial satellites.
Ms. Parcack said that her team was able to spot these hidden treasures thanks to the fact that the ancient Egyptian buildings were made mostly from mud bricks, which are denser than the soil surrounding them. This difference in density structure was clearly visible in the hi-resolution infrared satellite images that had been taken from a distance of 435 miles, above the surface of the earth.
Some experts were at first a little skeptical about Ms. Parcack's claims. However, the team did a test dig based on an image found near the modern day San El Hagar in the Nile Delta and unearthed a 3,000 year-old house that was once part of the ancient city of Tanis. Ms. Parcack believes that this find is just the tip of the iceberg and that there are many more hidden civilizations just waiting to be discovered.
And, that's not the only exciting discovery made this month. Last week, a robot was able to accomplish something archeologists have been trying for centuries - snake its way into the labyrinthine tunnels inside the Great Pyramid of Giza.
Ever since the pyramid was discovered, scientists have wondered about the purpose of the two eight-inch square shafts that lead from the Queen's Chamber to the pyramid's large stone doors.
To try solve the mystery, a team of engineers collaborated with the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities and designed a robot that was small and flexible enough to sneak inside the tiny area and take picture from all corners. The images remitted back revealed mysterious red wall markings that had been hidden from the human eye for over 4,500 years. Researchers are not sure what the markings mean, but they have been spotted at other ancient sites in Giza too and deciphering them may be the key to unlocking the mysteries that lie behind the shafts of one of the original Seven Wonders of the World.
We wonder what other hidden treasures will be revealed as archeologists increasingly turn to cutting edge technology as an exploration tool.
Resources: dailyinda.com, blogs.discovermagazine.com, cbc.ca.com