A renowned space archaeologist gives readers an insider's look at her field, which is basically Indiana Jones meets cutting-edge satellite technology. It's every bit as exciting as it sounds.
Discovering ancient civilizations by digging them up has always had grand romantic appeal. Parcak (Anthropology/Univ. of Alabama, Birmingham; Satellite Remote Sensing for Archaeology, 2009), the president and founder of GlobalXplorer and winner of the TED Prize, was among a generation of kids wooed by archaeology in movies like Raiders of the Lost Ark. But unlike most of us, she followed through on her passion, committing early to archaeology and pioneering the use of advanced technologies as a means to significantly improve the chances of the discovery of a lost site. Such excavations offer much more than just a cache of dusty loot; as she writes, "that dirt contains nothing less than the clues to who we are, how we got here, and how we might thrive in the future." In this fascinating adventure memoir, the author describes how remote sensing technology powered by orbiting satellites has transformed archaeologists' ability to locate and verify sites that might otherwise never have been discovered. As the lead in many big discoveries around the world, from Egypt to Newfoundland, Parcak has a lot of great stories to tell, and she tells them with clarity, enthusiasm, and humor. She also looks into the future, explaining that artificial intelligence and DNA analysis could further push the field into territory that only recently would have been considered sci-fi. And then there is crowdsourcing: The author is optimistic that regular people have the power to "find and protect the world's hidden heritage" through the online mapping of millions of undiscovered sites. Us, space archaeologists? There is no doubt that she will have no shortage of volunteers.
Exciting and futuristic, this book elicits that anything-is-possible feeling—a must-read.
"A crash course in the amazing new science of space archaeology that only Sarah Parcak can give. This book will awaken the explorer in all of us." Chris Anderson, Head of TED
“A renowned space archaeologist gives readers an insider's look at her field, which is basically Indiana Jones meets cutting-edge satellite technology. It's every bit as exciting as it sounds… In this fascinating adventure memoir… Parcak has a lot of great stories to tell, and she tells them with clarity, enthusiasm, and humor… Exciting and futuristic, this book elicits that anything-is-possible feelinga must-read.” Kirkus Reviews, *starred review*
“Her writing is full of evocative anecdotes and personal insights gleaned from years of experience in dusty trenches as well as behind the computer screen, poring over satellite images... Throughout the book, Parcak’s love for her work and the people she studies is evident, and her enthusiasm is contagious. From Vikings in Iceland and Canada to amphitheaters in Italy and back to her first love, pharaonic Egypt, she brings both the present and the past to life." Science Magazine
“Parcak’s book provides a revelatory look at an exciting new field.” Publishers Weekly
"This book is so much more than the memoir of a dedicated archaeologistit’s an open invitation for all of us to become explorers. She has pioneered crowd source archaeology, and shows how we can join her on the adventures of discovery that we've always dreamed about." Peter Jackson, Academy Award-winning director
“This is a fascinating glimpse into a young field just as its technological possibilities are exploding…By panning out, we perceive what’s invisible on the ground: features that relate not just to the physical landscape, but to the history of humanity, and our relationship with Earth.” Nature
“Parcak's love for her field and her deep wonder and excitement come through on every page...Clear, accessible and fascinating, peppered with witty asides and informative photos, Archaeology From Space is an excellent introduction to an exciting subfield that's still flying under the (satellite) radar.” Shelf Awareness, *starred review*
“Archaeology from Space presents a lively and engaging narrative about not only what it’s like to be an archaeologist, but how archaeologists use the data they gather to understand the ancient world.” Forbes.com
"Parcak is an extremely engaging writer and has done a lot of very interesting stuff....Parcak shares enough of herself to entrance anyone who shares her Indiana Jones dreams, while elucidating the exciting new field of satellite archaeology. This is a thoroughly delightful and downright fascinating work of popular science." Booklist
“I once had the privilege of accompanying Sarah Parcak on an archaeological dig in Lisht, Egypt. It was an adventure straight out of the movies. In Archaeology From Space, Parcak takes readers on a similar adventure, at once down to earth and out of this world. With wit and breezy elegance, she takes you around the world, back in time and out into space. She’s a time traveler and a captivating writer.” Bill Whitaker, 60 Minutes
"Sarah Parcak is a scientist, an historian, and an explorerbut above all, she is a writer. Her work illuminates our past, and in so doing, helps us to understand our future. Lively, generous, and inspiring." Jennifer Finney Boylan, author of She’s Not There and Long Black Veil
“What can wonder do? Everything. That’s what the book is about, really. It’s about a kid who was inspired by her grandfather and Indiana Jones and the great women of archaeology to grow up brash and questioning, to win the TED Prize and bust glass ceilings to pioneer ways to identify unexplored archaeological sites from satellites.” John Archibald, for AL.com
“Divining clues about what’s hidden beneath the earth from satellites high above, Parcak takes the reader on a worldwide adventure through our shared and ancient past. With delightful wit, infectious wonder, and a big dose of wisdom about where we’re headed, she offers anyone with a computer the chance to become a virtual Indiana Jones.” Juli Berwald, author of Spineless: The Science of Jellyfish and the Art of Growing a Backbone
"Warm, impassioned and funny....Her passion for her work is omnipresent, leaping from every page with an enthusiasm that is undeniably infectious...it’s not just a smart book or a thoughtful book or an informative book. It’s a FUN book. It’s a book that will prove enlightening to all manner of reader, but perhaps most of all, it’s a book that one could see being the catalyst that sparks a young person’s passion, whether it be space archaeology or some other scientific endeavor.” The Maine Edge
“Parcak’s career has sent her zooming around the globe, and in Archaeology from Space, her many fascinating discoveries and colorful stories are rendered in lively, conversational language though they are always backed up with painstakingly fact-checked notes and citations.” Bangor Daily News
“Part memoir, part pop-history, Sarah Parcak's writing bursts with enthusiasm and illuminates her pioneering research that seems more like science fiction than the hard science it is. Reading this book makes me want to become a space archaeologist!” Steve Brusatte, University of Edinburgh paleontologist and author of the New York Times bestseller The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs
“Fun and informative, full of interesting nuggets and personal anecdotes from the brightest star in space archaeology, this is a book unlike any other. Highly recommended!" Eric Cline, author of 1177 BC