Sarah sits outside a pyramid

Pioneering Archaeologist and Egyptologist, Sarah Parcak, Discovers Ancient Ruins from Space

The Natural History Museum of Utah is honored to announce Sarah Parcak, Space Archaeologist, Egyptologist and the 2016 Ted Prize winner as this year’s Lecture Series Keynote speaker, Tuesday, March 19, 2019, 7PM at Kingsbury Hall, University of Utah.

Born in Bangor, Maine, Parcak, who earned degrees from both Yale and Cambridge Universities has become one of the world’s premier Space Archaeologists. Her futuristic techniques have led to the discoveries of ancient wonders in Egypt, Italy, Romania, Newfoundland, and many remote corners of the Earth.

When asked by CBS late-night talk-show host Steven Colbert what a Space Archaeologist actually does, Parcak replied, “We use high resolution and NASA satellites to look for subtle differences on the earth to locate buried and ancient pyramids, towns and tombs, which we then go excavate… it allows us to pinpoint exactly where to go from thousands of miles away.”

With today’s advances in technology, satellite images from high above the Earth are remarkably clear, but Parcak prefers high res satellite images exposed to infa-red or short wave infa-red to pick out subtle details that would otherwise be missed. Using these pioneering techniques, has allowed Parcak and her team to locate more than 3,000 forgotten settlements, 1,000 hidden tombs, the famous lost Egyptian city of Tanis (made famous in Indiana Jones’ Raiders of the Lost Ark) and at least 17 pyramids.

“Parcak’s passion for her work is completely infectious,” notes lecture organizer and the Museum’s Public Programs Manager, Colleen McLaughlin, “maybe that’s because she is also a remarkable and enthusiastic speaker.”

With the winnings from her million-dollar Ted Prize, Parcak launched a unique citizen science platform called GlobalXplorer. The online application encourages adventure loving volunteers and arm-chair archaeologists to participate in the global hunt for hidden sites from the comfort of their own home or school. By mobilizing the eyes of everyday citizens, Parcak’s ultimate wish is to find and protect cultural treasures and ancient sites scattered across the world before looters, natural disasters or the ravages of war destroy them.

When not off saving ancient artifacts and sites from extinction, Parcak can be found conducting research and teaching classes in archaeology, Egyptology, remote sensing and more at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Parcak is also the founder and director of the Laboratory for Global Observation at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, CEO of SpectralGlobe Technologies and a National Geographic Fellow.

To learn more about Parcak and the future of her work, purchase tickets for her Keynote address before they sell out. Visit:

Video Links of Dr. Parcak