Sarah Parcak

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Sarah Parcak
BornBangor, Maine U.S.
OccupationAssociate Professor, Archaeologist, Egyptologist
Spouse(s)Greg Mumford
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Sarah Parcak
BornBangor, Maine U.S.
OccupationAssociate Professor, Archaeologist, Egyptologist
Spouse(s)Greg Mumford

Sarah Parcak (born Bangor, Maine), is an American archaeologist and Egyptologist, who uses satellite imaging to identify potential archaeological sites in Egypt.

Parcak received her Bachelor's degree in Egyptology and Archaeological Studies from Yale University in 2001, and her Ph.D. from Cambridge University. She is an associate professor of Anthropology at the University of Alabama, Birmingham; prior to that she was a teacher of Egyptian art and history at the University of Wales, Swansea.[1][2]


Current work

From 2003 to 2004, Parcak used a combination of satellite imaging analysis and surface surveys in the possible detection of 132 archaeological sites, some dating back to 3,000 B.C.[3] In her latest work, Parcak tested several types of satellite imagery to look for water sources within the arid region of the Sinai, East Delta and Middle Egypt, determining possible archaeological sites.[3] According to Parcak this approach reduces the time and cost for determining archaeological sites compared to surface detection.[4]

In May 2011 the BBC aired a documentary, Egypt's Lost Cities, describing BBC sponsored research carried out by Parcak's UAB team for over a year using infra-red satellite imaging from commercial and NASA satellites.[5] The programme discussed the research and showed Parcak in Egypt looking for physical evidence. The UAB team announced that they had discovered 17 pyramids, more than 1,000 tombs and 3,000 ancient settlements outside Sa el-Hagar, Egypt.[6]

The release by the BBC of an announcement before the broadcast was criticised by the then Minister of State for Antiquities, Zahi Hawass. In a statement on his blog he wrote "I was very pleased to be involved with this project", but he criticized the announcement before the programme was broadcast, saying it had not yet been checked by his Ministry which is charged with approving any such announcements and pointed out inaccuracies in the article's content. Dr Hawass said "No one can say with certainty that the features displayed under the sand are actually pyramids".[7] The BBC sent a telegram to Hawass explaining that the announcement had not been approved or released by the BBC Satellite Project.[8]

The Next List profile

In May 2012 she was the subject of a half-hour program on CNN's The Next List which profiles innovators, visionaries, and agents of change from around the world who are mapping the course to the future with their ideas.[9][10] On December 8 2012, she co-presented (with Dan Snow) a programme called "Rome's Lost Empire" on BBC One.


  1. ^ From the UNLV Department of Art website
  2. ^ Hawass, Zahi. "BBC Satellite Project". Zahi Hawass.
  3. ^ a b "University of Alabama at Birmingham Media Relations". April 23, 2007. Retrieved December 10, 2012.
  4. ^ "Survey and Excavation Projects in Egypt website". Retrieved December 10, 2012.
  5. ^ "Egypt's Lost Cities". BBC One( June 3, 2011. Retrieved December 10, 2012.
  6. ^ Cronin, Frances (May 25,2011). "Egyptian pyramids found by infra-red satellite images". BBC News( Retrieved December 10, 2012.
  7. ^ Hawass, Zahi. "The BBC Satellite Project". Zahi Hawass.
  8. ^ El-Araf, Nevine (26 May 2011). "News broadcast by BBC is inaccurate, says Hawass". ahramonline.,-says-Hawass.aspx. Retrieved 2 July 2012.
  9. ^ Alex WePrin (7 October 2011). "CNN Planning New Weekend Program, The Next List". TV Newser.
  10. ^ "This week on 'The Next List': a space archaeologist". CNN. May 22, 2012. Retrieved 22 July 2012.

External links