Thursday, 13 December 2012

Blueprint for Ancient Egypt

SEPE (Survey and Excavation Projects in Egypt), directed by Dr. Gregory Mumford, is based at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. It is funded by the National Science Foundation, National Geographic, NASA, and private donors. The objectives of this project are broad, but include
(1) an examination of the relations between Egypt and her neighbours, concentrating on the East Delta and Sinai,
(2) the excavation, analysis, and reconstruction of all aspects of the Late Period settlement of Tell Tebilla (East Delta), and
(3) investigating the more neglected aspects of Egypt's exploitation of and interaction with South Sinai.

Tell Tebilla is situated in the East Delta. Work on this site began with a summer reconnaissance trip in 1999, and has continued through December 1999, the summers of 2000, 2001 and 2003.
 
For more than a year, Parcak and her team scanned giant swaths of Egypt with a combination of NASA and commercial satellites, using techniques they had developed on a smaller scale and previously employed in regions in the South Sinai, East Delta and Middle Egypt. “The thing that was new for me was that I had never before been able to apply the technology over a broad area and test it on different environments and sites,” Parcak explained. “We scaled up our methodology across Egypt.”

Satellites orbiting 400 miles above earth have revealed numerous hidden ancient sites across Egypt, including 17 pyramids, 1,000 tombs and 3,100 settlements, the BBC reported in May. 

The contours of ancient Egyptian homes and other buildings appear in infrared imagery because they were constructed from mud brick, a dense material that stands out from surrounding soil. As a result, the satellite images showed both known archaeological sites that have been studied and excavated for decades and other ancient treasures ostensibly buried deep beneath the sand. 


Continue reading: Satellite Images Provide Blueprint for Ancient Egypt

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