Satellites uncover lost Egyptian pyramids

The stepped pyramid of Saqqara (Image: file photo)

Archaeologists at the University of Alabama at Birmingham have unearthed 17 lost pyramids and thousands of ancient tombs. They didn’t go the old-fashioned dig in the desert fashion, instead using infrared satellite imagery of Egypt.

Led by Egyptologist Sarah Parcak and a team of colleagues, they used NASA and commercial satellites to reveal mud-brick structures under the area’s surface.

The findings include more than 1,000 tombs and 3,100 settlements.

“This hints at the possibilities of discoveries to come,” Parcak was quoted as saying by her university. “I am excited for my generation and the generations to come. There is enough to be excavated for 50 generations to come.”

Preliminary excavations by a French team have confirmed the presence of at least two possible pyramids. The findings at Saqqara (Sakkara) could be one of the most important sites in Egypt.

The work will be profiled in the BBC documentary “Egypt’s Lost Cities,” airing Monday on the BBC. The documentary will also be broadcast on the Discovery Channel in the U.S.

The images were published by the Annales du Service Des Antiquities de l’Egypte (ASAE), an organ of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities.

By Desmond Shephard