Explore Under the Earth—From the Sky!

When I was young, one of my favorite books was called All About Archeology. Before I was old enough to read it myself, I begged my father to read it to me (over and over and over), especially the story of the discovery of King Tut’s tomb. The romance and adventure of digging for ancient relics were fascinating to me.   Actually, they still are. But many things about archeology have changed since then. One way we help young people understand the role of creative questioning in the real world is to help them envision how it might operate in various fields. One exciting resource to do that is the GlobalXplorer website.

The GlobalXplorer expeditions use satellite imagery to discover archeological sites and work to prevent looting.  It uses crowd-sourced technology by inviting people all over the work to join the search. The more people who are viewing satellite images, the more opportunities to make discoveries. The first GlobalExplorer expedition was to Peru. The combined efforts of viewers around the globe identified over 19.000 sites of archeological interest, and discovered evidence of looting that was turned over to Peruvian authorities. It you’d like more details about that expedition, you can find it here. There is also a wealth of information on Peru and Peruvian archeology, provided by National Geographic. Here’s one small introduction to to the resources, featuring “space archeologist” Sarah Parcak.


At the moment, GlobalXplorer is between expeditions, but more are promised in 2020. I’m sure, like everything else, things are a bit COVID delayed. But in the meantime, this is a great chance to see all the exciting things discovered in Peru thus far and learn how archeology today is the province of drone lovers and satellite viewers as well as the still-necessary explorers with shovels and brushes. You also can view the tutorial videos that help amateur archeologists become part of the action. It may not be long until you, too, can be part of the next  GlobalXplorer expedition. In the meantime, what an adventure for the imagination!

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