Saturday, March 12, 2011

Looting from Space.

Many thanks to Dr. Nathan Craig, professor of archaeology at Penn State, for pointing out to me that you can see the effects of looting from space.

These Google Earth images marked by Dr. Craig show the holes dug by looters to reach ancient tombs in the Huara Valley, Peru.

In this image, the actual breadth of looting in this one section of the valley becomes apparent:

Terrifying, but immensely useful in gauging the extent of looting in Peru and other countries.

However, these images do not communicate the violence and carnage of the disarticulated bodies, broken pots, and modern human waste that litters the ground. Dr. Craig uses photography to create portraits of these looted victims that will help us to make connections between what we see here and what actually takes place in these pits. You can see much of his work here.

1 comment:

  1. You might also find it helpful to check out several articles in the SAA Archaeological record about the use (and abuse) of Google Earth in tracking illicit excavations. These are by Jason Ur (vol. 6, no. 3, 2006), Daniel Contreras and Neil Brodie (May 2010), and Adrian Myers (Sept 2010)