17 lost Egyptian pyramids spotted from space: BBC

Hatem Maher, Wednesday 25 May 2011

Researchers at the University of Alabama in the United States conduct a satellite survey that identifies 17 lost pyramids along the course of the Nile

Egyptian Pyramids

Infrared images identified 17 lost pyramids and thousands of ancient settlements after researchers at the University of Alabama concluded a yearlong research, the BBC reported on Wednesday.

Two of the suspected lost pyramids were already confirmed by preliminary excavations, Sarah Parcak, who led the survey, announced.

“We were very intensely doing this research for over a year. I could see the data as it was emerging, but for me the "Aha!" moment was when I could step back and look at everything that we'd found and I couldn't believe we could locate so many sites all over Egypt,” she told the BBC.

"To excavate a pyramid is the dream of every archaeologist.”

The researchers studied images from satellites orbiting 700 kilometres above the earth, equipped with powerful cameras which can pinpoint objects less than three feet wide, the BBC explained.

More than 1,000 tombs and 3,000 ancient settlements are also believed to have been spotted in the images.

"It just shows us how easy it is to underestimate both the size and scale of past human settlements,” Parcak said.

"These are just the sites [close to] the surface. There are many thousands of additional sites that the Nile has covered over with silt. This is just the beginning of this kind of work."

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