Egyptologist, Space Archaeologist, and Science Communicator
Our Roy Chapman Andrews Society
Distinguished Explorer 2021
Mon. Apr. 26, 6pm CST
Towards an inclusive future of the past:
How to make archaeology for everyone.
Sarah Parcak has been named the recipient of the 2021 Roy Chapman Andrews Society Distinguished Explorer Award. Parcak is an internationally renowned Egyptologist, space archaeologist, and science communicator.
These programs honor the Andrews legacy and are sponsored by members and supporters of the Society. Distinguished explorers receive a cash prize and a commemorative statue created by the late regional artist O. V. Shaffer.
Sarah Parcak will be the 19th recipient of the Distinguished Explorer Award. Paleontologist Neil Shubin, discoverer of the “fish with hands,” received the Society’s most recent award in April of 2019. Other recipients receiving this prestigious award include Michael Novacek, leader of the first Western expedition to the Gobi Desert since Andrews’s research there during the 1920s that unearthed the first nest of fossilized dinosaur eggs; Steve Squyres, scientific principal investigator for the Mars Exploration Rover mission; and Robert Ballard, discoverer of the RMS Titanic shipwreck.
Keep up with the Distinguished Explorer Sarah Parcak in her recent interview with Ken Lacovara of the Explorers Club talking about “Human Resilience in #Egypt’s #MiddleKingdom: Lessons In the Time of a Global #Pandemic”.
Interview with Sarah Parcak
Hosted by Ken Lacovara
Note: Sporting an Indiana Jones hat and jacket at her TED Talk. 🙂
As a result of numerous archaeological expeditions to Egypt, Europe, and the Americas, Parcak has provided new insights into the culture of ancient Egyptians, Romans, and Vikings. For Parcak, most of the expeditions have begun with careful manipulation of satellite images that enhances subtle aspects of the terrain, revealing previously unknown archaeological features. She has been a pioneer in this field of “space” archaeology and wrote the first textbook on the subject, Satellite Remote Sensing.
Parcak shares the passion Andrews had as a communicator about science and discovery, authoring numerous scientific publications. Parcak is the author of Archaeology from Space: How the future shapes our Past, a popular account highlighting archaeologic discoveries that have been aided by using satellite imagery and passionately explaining the importance of archaeology and the thrill of participation in such a field.
She has been featured in three BBC productions focusing on ancient Egypt, the Roman Empire, and the Vikings. Parcak is the winner of the 2016 million-dollar TED prize, which she used to establish GlobalXplorer, a platform for crowdsourcing of satellite data that allowed anyone with an internet connection to experience the excitement of identifying potential archaeological sites. The first GlobalXplorer “expedition” was to Peru and produced 700 potential large sites that experts are currently investigating; an expedition to India will be commencing soon.
After receiving her B.A. from Yale University, Parcak earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in Egyptian Archaeology at Cambridge University. She is currently a Professor of Anthropology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Parcak is a National Geographic Explorer and Fellow in the Society of Antiquities.
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