Archaeological discoveries have been essential throughout history in helping to further science and giving us more context to the history we already know (or think we know). In fact, we can learn so much about the past through these discoveries, and use them to change the way we look at the present. Throughout the ages, there have been some pretty remarkable archaeological discoveries, and one thing that’s really helping with this is satellites.
Since human flight developed, we have evolved our capacity for aerial archaeology, and this has been a definite game changer. By using satellites, scientists have been able to discover incredible sites that were previously unknown, and could not have been discovered at a ground level. These are just some of the most stunning archaeological discoveries that have been made by satellites over the years.
New tombs and pyramids – Egypt
We already know about the Great Pyramids of Giza, but there have been more recent discoveries made via satellite that has revealed 17 new pyramids (though this has been disputed), not to mention over 1,000 tombs and over 3,000 settlements all across Egypt. Egyptologist Sarah Parcak has been making discoveries via satellite since 2003, and she is largely credited with these discoveries. She is also thought to have found the location of the lost city of Tanis – you might know the name from the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark.
The last days of the Mayans – Guatemala
We know that the powerful and impressive Mayan Empire reached its height in the 8th Century, and was completely gone by around the 10th Century. But there is so much we don’t know about this great civilization, until now. Archaeologists have been working toward analyzing satellite images in order to understand how the collapse of the Mayan civilization came about. The theory pushed by Tom Sever is that ecological disaster led to the collapse of the Mayan civilization. Some dispute this theory, but it does seem to be one of the more logical and accepted theories on the fall of the Mayans.
Moai statues – Easter Island
The stunning Easter Island is famed for its truly sensational Moai statues, which have continued to capture imaginations since their discovery in 1722. However, one thing that has puzzled scientists for centuries is exactly how these great monoliths were moved, by the Rapa Nui, from the quarries where they were made to the numerous areas of the island where they can be found. The use of satellite archaeology has revealed seven large roads located on the island, leading to the theory that the statues were walked or dragged with ropes. This was a theory that has been tested out and could easily have been exactly what occurred.
There are so many stunning sites and discoveries that have been made throughout history. There are also a lot of different methods nowadays for making archaeological discoveries. It’s essential that we find out as much as we can about these amazing places, for they can help to reveal things we never knew about history and past civilizations.