From space the archaeological discovery of the century: the satellites discovered a second Egypt buried for 3,000 years.
of Roberto Mattei
A team led dall'egittologa Sarah Parcak, an assistant at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, discovers a priceless treasure for centuries collapsed in the arid sands of Egypt more than 1,000 tombs, 3100 settlements, 17 pyramids and entire road networks.
An incredible discovery that blasted from the chair
to researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham when Sarah Parcak, assistant professor and Egyptologist at the prestigious US university, showed to their wondering eyes and almost in disbelief, infrared satellite images of immense hidden treasures under the Egyptian soil. But, that desert sand arid and scorching on which no one would have bet a penny, concealed more than 1,000 tombs, 3,100 ancient settlements and, listen, listen, less than 17 pyramids! Over the centuries, the facilities were sunk between layers of silt and sand, soil unable to support the weight of construction materials with which these works were made. The research, funded by the BBC, the largest and most influential broadcasting company in the United Kingdom, saw the work team of scholars led by Parcak that, for more than a year, has explored the length and breadth of the Arab republic with ' using geostationary satellites thermographic, provided on loan for use by NASA and by some trading partners. It is orbiting vehicles fitted with thermo-chambers infrared technology, positioned 700 miles from the earth's surface, able to estimate the temperature of a body without entering into contact, but simply making use of its characteristic of emitting infrared radiation. The principle is simple. Any body with a temperature greater than absolute zero (-273.14 ° C), emits energy in the form of electromagnetic radiation in the frequencies of the infrared, not visible by the human eye. The tool can convert the energy emitted by these bodies into a digital signal is the thermo-camera. The "energy vision" revealed from the equipment is represented by an image, obtained by combining a temperature scale in a palette of colors. The set of points that represent the surface temperature of the photographed subject, gives rise to a thermal mapping. The high degree of accuracy of the temperature difference between point and point, typically 0.05 ° C, allows, through processing software, to obtain valuable information about the unseen world around us. As soon as the discovery was made, Dr. Parcak wasted no time: he picked up the phone and informed Zari Hawass, Egypt's Minister of State for Antiquities, agreeing with him the preparations to confirm the finding. On the spot, were immediately sent for excavator and a team of French archaeologists to assist the excavations. Then, when Tanis came to light the first outlines of a house buried by sand for more than 3000 years, the euphoria was great, with shouts of joy and applause that rose to heaven by all the experts do you work. Shortly after, from Saqqara, the necropolis located 30 kilometers south of Cairo, another confirmation that testified the presence of two pyramids where the satellite had clicked. The festive air that is breathed in that situation seemed no longer to finish. The interpretation of thermographic conducted by researchers not only was perfect but opened the door to the development of new technologies in the field of archeology.
Full of enthusiasm, Parcak has indulged the BBC: "No on could not believe that we would find so many sites all over Egypt. Find a pyramid has always been the dream of every archaeologist. A Tanis, the archaeological site made famous by the film of Steven Spilelberg "Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark", was found an ancient road network and housing completely invisible from the ground. This technology certainly opens the door to new discoveries for years to come. I'm excited for my generation and for future ones. It's enough for the next 50 generations . "
For all the curious and fans in the world of archeology, finally, some good news: all the discoveries made by Professor Sarah Parcak were collected in a BBC documentary titled "Egypt lost cities" (Egypt lost country) transmitted in the UK world premiere on BBC One and BBC One HD. Here is the link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b011pwms