Solving India’s ancient mysteries—with the help of citizen scientists
A pioneering archaeologist is about to launch her most ambitious project yet: using the public to search satellite images for clues to India’s past.
Archaeology isn’t the dusty science it was a generation ago. New technologies that once seemed straight out of sci-fi are now peering inside mummy bundles, locating buried traces of buildings, and revealing the ruins of cities hidden by forest canopies.
For more than a decade, National Geographic Explorer Sarah Parcak has been on the front line of this revolution, using satellite images to find and explore ancient sites around the globe. Now she’s about to take on a new challenge as she focuses her GlobalXplorer citizen-science project on the subcontinent of India.
In 2016, Parcak, a professor at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, won the first million-dollar TED prize for a big idea. She proposed creating an online