High-Tech Dig: Archaeologists Find Trove of Tombs on Google Earth

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A technician tests a touch-screen version of the Google Earth map software

Adam Berry/Bloomberg News/Getty

Forget your shovel — you can now find ancient artifacts from the comfort of your desk.

David Kennedy, an archaeologist from the University of Western Australia has found thousands of potential archaeological sites in Saudi Arabia, simply by using Google Earth. He used the software to find 1082 “pendants” — tear-shaped stone tombs.

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“[Saudi Arabia is] not the easiest country to break into,” Kennedy said. Aerial photos are scarce for archaeologists, and few people can fly over the country. That’s why Google Earth was such an important resource for exploring the territory.

Kennedy’s Google Earth search found an area that may be up to 9,000 years old and has evidence of human activity. This comes three years after other Australian researchers found hundreds of Afghan artifacts through the software. Looks like clicking is the new digging. (via New Scientist)

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