Congratulations to Sarah Parcak ("
Her laptop brims with satellite images pitted with thousands of black dots, evidence of excavations across Egypt where looters have tunneled in search of mummies, jewelry and other valuables prized by collectors, advertised in auction catalogs and trafficked on eBay, a criminal global black market estimated in the billions of dollars. “For the first time technology has gotten to the point where we can map looting,” said Sarah H. Parcak, a pioneering “satellite archaeologist,” founding director of the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Laboratory for Global Observation and an associate professor there. Satellite eyes in the sky, which have transformed the worldwide search for buried archaeological treasures, are now being used to spy on the archenemies of cultural preservation: armies of looters who are increasingly pockmarking ancient sites with illicit digs and making off with priceless patrimony.... for it to "surface" without paperwork on the global no-questions-asked antiquities market which strenuously denies it is happening. Dealers and their lobbyists attempt to provide a smokescreen, to create a facade. The satellite evidence from all over the Middle East shows the shallowness of their arguments. Let us hope the TED grant will be used to further expose the Black Hat Guys for what they are.
Vignette: Can one even see stars over the city lights of New York?