Armchair archaeologist discovers 2,000 potential archaeological sites using Google Earth

Saudi Arabia from Google Earth

Australian archaeologist David Kennedy has discovered 1,977 potential archaeological sites in Saudi Arabia using Google Earth from the comfort of his office armchair in Perth.

According to New Scientist, Kennedy studied 1,240 square kilometres of high-resolution Google Earth satellite imagery of Saudi Arabia and noted 1,977 potential archaeological sites of interest, including 1,082 “pendants”, or ancient tear-drop shaped tombs made of stone.

To confirm the accuracy of his discoveries, Kennedy sent a friend in Saudi Arabia to investigate two of the potential sites and photograph them. The resulting photographs confirm that they are remnants of ancient life.

Ground photography like this one confirm Kennedy's discoveries
Ground photography like this one confirm Kennedy's discoveries

Although as of yet unconfirmed, Kennedy believes that these sites may be up to 9,000 years old. It’s great to see new and exciting ways of using technology, like Google Earth, to help discover our past.


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Darren McCarra
Darren McCarra is co-editor of The Sociable. He has a keen interest in photography, all things mobile, and writing about technology and social media. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.