You Can Now Discover Unexplored Ruins From Home
This sounds like an Indiana Jones subplot.
In 1911, the ruins of Machu Picchu were rediscovered by American academic Hiram Bingham. Today, an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham wants to extend Bingham’s legacy to explorers around the globe—from the comfort of their own homes.
Sarah Parcak was the winner of the 2016 TED Prize, and she used the $1 million in prize money and partnerships with the National Geographic Society and DigitalGlobe to develop her GlobalXplorer project. The program utilizes satellite imagery and crowdsourced citizen science to assist in mapping terrain and identifying previously unknown archaeological sites in Peru. No résumé required.
“This is a dream started by Hiram Bingham, but we are expanding it to the world,” Professor Parcak said in a TED talk in June 2016. She explained that her goal was to make “archaeological exploration more open, inclusive, and at a scale simply not previously possible.”
Available in both English and Spanish, you can now parse data to help discover sites—and when you do, they’ll be protected from being raided or ransacked. Parcak has paired with the nonprofit cultural heritage organization Sustainable Preservation Initiative to preserve precious heirlooms and artifacts.
To learn more about how to get involved, explore Professor Parcak’s initiative here.
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