Space archaeologist Dr Sarah Parcak has become this year’s winner of the TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) prize. The $1m prize is awarded each year to an individual who is judged able to spark global change.
Dr Parcak is using the money to set up a website to crowdsource as yet undiscovered sites around the world. The so-called citizen scientists will also be called on to spot and report looting at existing sites.
Dr Parcak is known as a space archaeologist because she uses satellite imagery collected above the Earth and analyses it using algorithms to identify subtle changes that could signal a hidden human-made structure. Her satellite mapping of Egypt has already suggested the existence of 17 hitherto unknown pyramids, 1,000 tombs and 3,100 settlements.