Indiana Jones, put down your whip. To scour the globe for archaeological sites these days all you need is a desktop computer.
Almost two thousand potential archaeological sites in Saudi Arabia have been discovered from an office chair in Perth, Australia, thanks to high-resolution satellite images from Google Earth.
“I’ve never been to Saudi Arabia,” says David Kennedy from the University of Western Australia, Australia. “It’s not the easiest country to break into.”
Instead Kennedy scanned 1240 square kilometres in Saudi Arabia using Google Earth. From their birds-eye view he found 1977 potential archaeological sites, including 1082 “pendants” – ancient tear-drop shaped tombs made of stone.
According to Kennedy, aerial photography of Saudi Arabia is not made available to most archaeologists, and it’s difficult, if not impossible, to fly over the nation. “But, Google Earth can outflank them,” he says.
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