Billed as a modern world “Indiana Jones,” the renowned archaeologist specialist in Egyptology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Sarah Parcak was announced Monday as the 2016 TED Prize winner. The highly-coveted $1 million grant is awarded annually to just one exceptional individual whose creative, bold vision sparks global change.
Parcak plans to use prize money in saving archaeological sites in the Middle East.
“The last four and half years have been horrific for archaeology. I’ve spent a lot of time, as have many of my colleagues, looking at the destruction,” Parcak said accepting the prize. “This Prize is not about me. It’s about our field. It’s about the thousands of men and women around the world, particularly in the Middle East, who are defending and protecting sites.”
Across the globe, the UAB archaeologist is helping countries preserve history by using satellites identifying ancient sites lost in time. In Egypt alone, Parcak helped locate 17 potential pyramids, plus an additional 1,000 forgotten tombs and 3,100 unknown settlements. She’s discovered even more throughout the Roman Empire.
Sarah “uses 21st century technology to make the world’s invisible history visible again,” the TED blog explained.
Parcak will announce the details of her project in February in Vancouver, British Columbia, during a live TED conference.
“In a session that will be broadcast for free to the world, she’ll reveal a wish to allow curious minds everywhere to play a part in preserving our global heritage,” claims the TED website. “It’s a wish about the wonders of archaeological discovery and our connection to the past.”
Sarah was first introduced to the world of TED in 2012, when she gave a famous speech on archaeology from space. Watch it below: