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8,000 years of hidden human history uncovered in the Middle East

8,000 years of hidden human history uncovered in the Middle East

March 27, 2012 - How do you map the expansion of Earth's earliest civilizations? For years, researchers have tackled this overwhelming job on a settlement-by-settlement basis, searching for clues in mounds of earth through the Center East.

But now, scientists have turned to satellite imagery to uncover a huge network of over 14,000 long-overlooked Mesopotamian settlements, spanning 8,000 years of ancient civilization. Their findings symbolize a monumental step ahead for the fields of archeology and anthropology, and advise that an aerial point of view might keep the important to unlocking the mysteries of humanity's first major settlements.

A important human body of archaeological evidence suggests that the earliest civilizations arose in Mesopotamia, the geographic region that today includes Iraq, northeast Syria, southeast Turkey and southwest Iran. The dimension and distribution of these settlements during the Mesopotamian panorama, however, has long remained a thing of a mystery.


Traditional archeological tactics call for researchers to search for evidence of these historical civilizations up close, at the floor stage. This is an outstanding method for understanding about individual settlements, but is a painstaking way to make feeling of how these communities may possibly have interacted with one another, or spread across the panorama over time.

That is the place Harvard archeologist Jason Ur and MIT computer scientist Bjoern Menze arrive in. By combining spy-satellite photographs acquired during the sixties with modern day pictures of the Earth's surface, Menze and Ur have devised a new method of mapping styles of human settlements at an unprecedented scale.

Ur and Menze lately used their new method to map upwards of fourteen,000 formerly ignored settlements, distributed over 23,000 sq. kilometers of Mesopotamian panorama.



Sources and more information:

Researchers uncover 8,000 years of human history hidden in the Middle East [Anthropology]

How do you map the expansion of Earth's earliest civilizations? For years, researchers have tackled this daunting task on a settlement-by-settlement basis, searching for clues in mounds of earth throughout the Middle East. But now, researchers have turned to satellite imagery to uncover a vast network of over 14,000 long-overlooked Mesopotamian...

Satellites Expose 8,000 Years of Lost Civilization

Tweet Satellites Expose 8,000 Years of Lost Civilization Archaeologists have developed a large-scale method and mapped some 14,000 settlement sites in northeastern Syria. The effort could uncover long-term trends in urban activity Print By Virginia Gewin of Nature magazine Hidden in the landscape of the fertile crescent of the Middle East,...


( via io9.com )



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