Archaeology Magazine

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Cold War Images Reveal Archaeological Sites

Monday, April 28, 2014

Corona-Imagery-Near-East-SitesFAYETTEVILLE, ARKANSAS—The Corona Atlas of the Middle East team at the University of Arkansas has spotted 10,000 new archaeological sites using declassified spy-satellite imagery of the Fertile Crescent. “Some of these sites are gigantic, and they were completely unknown. We can see all kinds of things—ancient roads and canals. The images provide a very comprehensive picture,” archaeologist Jesse Casana, a member of the University of Arkansas team, told National Geographic. The Corona spy-satellite images are not as detailed as modern images, but they were taken from 1967 to 1972, which is the key. “Even with much better resolution, we can’t see a site that someone has covered up with a building,” Casana explained.