2016 TED Prize winner
I wish for us to discover the millions of unknown archaeological sites across the globe. By building an online citizen science platform and training a 21st century army of global explorers, we'll find and protect the world's hidden heritage, which contains clues to humankind's collective resilience and creativity.
What would happen if Indiana Jones and Google Earth had a love child? It would look something like Global Xplorer, the citizen science-based game that Sarah Parcak will launch later this year. This unique platform will enlist a global community, and enable anyone to discover the next hidden tomb or potential looting pit using satellite technology. A responsive website will house this game, and will double as a forum for conversation on new discoveries found, past sites saved, and the future of technology in archaeology.
Sign up for email updates. Be the first to know when the Global Xplorer platform is available in beta, when you can share it with friends and family, and when new discoveries are made using it. Plus, news from Sarah and occasional updates from the TED Prize team.
Fund the project. The $1 million TED Prize will support the building of the basic Global Xplorer platform, but it's your support that will help us add important functionality and get lift-off on exciting supplementary projects. For information on funding opportunities, please email email@example.com.
Sarah Parcak is a satellite archeologist. She takes images collected from 450 miles above the Earth’s surfaces, and uses complex algorithms to see subtle changes to the vegetation below that signal manmade objects, hidden from view. Her methods have helped locate 17 potential pyramids in Egypt, in addition to 3,100 forgotten settlements and 1,000 lost tombs. She's also made major discoveries throughout the Roman Empire. Still, hundreds of thousands — even millions — of undiscovered ancient sites remain buried around the world. Her goal: to help locate and protect them.
The winner of the 2016 TED Prize, Sarah revealed her wish to build the citizen science platform, Global Xplorer, at the annual TED Conference on February 16. It's a big idea to take her work to the next level and allow curious minds everywhere to help preserve our global heritage. Learn more about Sarah
News from Sarah
Watch Sarah's TED Talk
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert:
Sarah appeared on the show in January: Space Archeologist Wizard Genius
Sarah Parcak Is A Space Archaeologist. Soon You Will Be Too
The New York Times:
TED Prize Goes to Archaeologist Who Combats Looting With Satellite Technology
Space Archaeologist Wants Your Help To Find Ancient Sites
Space Archaeologist Sarah Parcak Wins TED Prize To Find & Preserve Ancient Sites
Pioneer in Satellite Archaeology Wins Million-dollar Prize
Parcak, To Save Ancient Ruins With Satellite Images
Satellite Archaeologist Sarah Parcak Wins $1 Million 2016 TED Prize
Sites from space
In 2010, no looting was visible at the archaeological site of Dashur and the pyramid of Amenemhet III. But in this image captured in 2013, major looting has taken place.
Sarah processes satellite data to find manmade materials underground. This bright pink area is the ancient city of Mendes in Egypt, long lost in the sands of time.