Dr Sarah Parcak uses satellites to probe beneath the sands, where she has found cities, temples and pyramids. image courtesy BBC.
File under "how cool is THAT?!"
According to the BBC, US Egyptologist Dr Sarah Parcak has led a team of researchers that analysed infra-red images from satellites orbiting above Egypt. The cameras are so powerful they can pin-point objects less than 1 meter in diameter.
What they discovered includes 1,000 tombs, 3,000 ancient settlements and 17 pyramids all buried beneath the sand and silt.
Ancient Egyptians built their houses and structures out of mud brick, which is much denser than the soil that surrounds it, so the shapes of houses, temples and tombs can be seen.
"It just shows us how easy it is to underestimate both the size and scale of past human settlements," says Dr Parcak.
And she believes there are more antiquities to be discovered:
"These are just the sites [close to] the surface. There are many thousands of additional sites that the Nile has covered over with silt. This is just the beginning of this kind of work."
My favorite quote from Dr. Parcak?
"Indiana Jones is old school, we've moved on from Indy. Sorry, Harrison Ford."
The BBC will air a documentary about the discoveries titled "Egypt's Lost Cities" on May 30.