Archaeologists are finding more ancient cities and lost human settlements than ever before.
And it’s all thanks to new imaging technologies commonly used in surveillance. With highly-accurate measurements from satellites, drones, LiDAR, and more, archaeologists are making discoveries that were once impossible.
Patricia Murrieta-Flores, an archaeologist at Lancaster University in the U.K., told io9 that archeologists have long been early adopters of new technology: “Since very early on, archaeology has learned and adapted theories, methods and techniques from other disciplines, such as geology, geography and chemistry, among many others.” Though a previous generation’s archeologists might have carried trowels, dustpans and maps, these days they’re more likely to be using radar.
Over the past thirty years, the field has rapidly evolved, and now makes use of satellite imagery, ground-penetrating radar, computed tomography (CT scans) and even robotic drones. Here are some of the discoveries these spy technologies have made possible.