Sarah Parcak - Hacking archaeology: beyond shovels or iSandbox?

Archaeology today represents a time consuming endeavor. After months of preparation, experts head into the field, where they meticulously collect data about soil, bones, and ancient objects. The tools most archaeologists use for mapping and site recording are expensive and generally require significant expertise. There are also significant challenges with data storage and dissemination. Archaeology is now beginning to enter the age of "big data", where countrywide/culture-wide data are available, yet archaeologists are only beginning to develop appropriate computational tools to handle and evaluate them. Compared to many other fields, archaeology has only just begun to be “hacked”, with 3D printing, satellite imagery, crowdsourcing, and new digital recording techniques. What else could be done on the ground using low cost sensors and robots? This talk will present the current state of archaeology and discuss new and innovative and approaches being used at diverse ancient sites. It will suggest areas where using sensors could potentially change the field, making fieldwork more efficient, inexpensive, and accessible to a broader audience. The talk will also show how the analysis of high resolution satellite images (using specific algorithms) can be combined with on the ground sensors to improve site mapping and feature discovery, focusing on Egypt and Peru as case studies. How new 3D modelling approaches using open source software may change the field will also be discussed.