School News
Sarah Parcak to speak at Nov. 28 SMU Tate Lecture
By SMU
Nov 28, 2017
Print this page
Email this article

Dallas (SMU) – Sarah Parcak, a pioneer of using satellite imagery to discover lost archeological sites, will be the featured speaker at The Baird Lecture of the the Willis M. Tate Distinguished Lecture Series at SMU Tuesday, Nov. 28.

Parcak will answer questions at the Turner Construction/Wells Fargo Tate Student Forum at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday in Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom, 3140 Dyer St. The student forum is a lively question-and-answer session with Tate speakers for area high school students, SMU students, faculty and staff.

The evening lecture will begin at 8:00 p.m. Tuesday at SMU’s McFarlin Auditorium, 6405 Boaz Lane.

Sarah Parcak is a “space archaeologist” and the 2016 TED Prize winner. She has identified thousands of undiscovered archaeological sites across the globe with satellite imagery and a process she developed.

Her grandfather was an early pioneer of aerial photography and inspired her interest in remote sensing while she studied Egyptology at Yale. Her extraordinary technique analyzes infrared imagery to identify subtle differences in vegetation health. Plants grow differently when rooting atop structures. Parcak is able to locate longlost remnants of human history by identifying these differences. She has discovered more than 3,000 missing settlements, over 1,000 tombs and the lost city of Tanis.

With funds provided by the TED Prize, Parcak is developing GlobalXplorer. This online application will allow people around the world to search out lost civilizations from their homes and classrooms. A global collective of amateur archaeologists working together through crowdsourcing could very well uncover the next great archaeological treasures. At a time when so much shared cultural history is at risk, due to war and looting, this task is extremely crucial and time sensitive.

Parcak serves as the founding director of the Laboratory for Global Observation at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where she is an associate professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is also the CEO of Spectral Globe Technologies.