Sarah Parcak

Sarah Parcak, Archaeologist; Egyptologist; professor of anthropology, University of Alabama; uses satellite imagery to identify potential archaeological sites

Tales from the “Indiana Jones” of Space


Sarah Parcak is a space archaeologist and the 2016 TED Prize winner.  Using satellite imagery and a complex process she developed, Parcak has identified thousands of archaeologic sites across the globe.  Inspired by her grandfather, an early pioneer of aerial photography, Parcak took an interest in remote sensing while studying Egyptology at Yale.  She has worked at numerous archaeologic sites.  More importantly she has discovered some 3,000 settlements, 1,000 tombs and the lost city of Tanis, Egypt.

Parcak’s 2009 book, Satellite Remote Sensing for Archaeology, was the first textbook in its field.  Her 2019 book Archaeology from Space:  How the Future Shapes Our Past brings the uses of cutting-edge technology to a wider public.

Parcak is the founder and president of Globalxplorer, a nonprofit dedicated to using technology to protect our shared cultural heritage.  She is co-director of the Joint Lisht Mission with Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities, which focuses on excavation of Egypt’s Middle Kingdom capital, Thebes.  Parcak is also founding director of the Laboratory for Global Observation at the University of Alabama, where she is a professor of Anthropology.

Parcak is a National Geographic Explorer and a recipient of the Smithsonian American Ingenuity Award.