Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Egypt's Lost Cities

Yesterday I watched a television programme called "Egypt's Lost Cities" on BBC 1. If you haven't seen it, do that now! You can watch it back on the BBC website during the next 6 days. The accompanying article to the show can be read here.

Basically the programme was about a lady (Sarah Parcak) who was/is trying to create a map of all the ancient archaeological sites in Egypt using infra-red satellite images (if I remember correctly, she got these from NASA?).

Some things about the show were a bit odd though... Like the fact that Parcak found it necessary to carry a huge interactive television screen around with her, just so she could set it up in a tent somewhere in the middle of the desert (powered by a generator I assume?) to show the camera man and the team infra-red satellite images of ancient cities. Not only that, but our Space archaeologist had an IPad as well! (Somewhere out there I can hear a Classical archaeologist sobbing over her/his notepad and pencil).

Of course, Egypt being Egypt, there was plenty of Zahi Hawass to go around as well. Including Hawass and the team climbing into the large Pyramid of Giza in order to look at some 18th-19th century graffiti (I did not really see the relevance of this to the story).
Friend: Zahi Hawass needs to work out more. He's in a very bad shape.
Zahi Hawass: *pant* Graffiti *wheeze*
Me: Those British soldiers had no respect for ancient Egypt whatsoever. Can't someone clean this s*** up?
Friend: No, you can't do that! It's part of the Pyramid's history!
Me: Nnnggg....

But the best part about the entire programme? Reconstructing time warping sandstorms. I'll leave you with that image...

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