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Google Earth finds archaeological sites

An Australian archaeologist claims to have identified nearly 2,000 potentially important sites in Saudi Arabia using Google Earth.

world Updated: Feb 05, 2011 23:32 IST

An Australian archaeologist claims to have identified nearly 2,000 potentially important sites in Saudi Arabia using Google Earth.

David Kennedy, a professor of classics and ancient history at the University of Western Australia, says with the help of satellite images from Google Earth he has pinpointed 1,977 archaeological sites, including 1,082 teardrop shaped stone tombs in the Arab country.

"I've never been to Saudi Arabia. It's not the easiest country to break into," New Scientist magazine quoted Dr Kennedy as saying.

Instead, Dr Kennedy said, he scanned about 1240 square kilometres in Saudi Arabia using Google Earth. From their birds-eye view he found 1,977 potential archaeological sites, including 1,082 "pendants" - ancient tear-drop shaped tombs, made of stone.

According to Kennedy, aerial photography of Saudi Arabia is not made available to most archaeologists, and it's difficult, to fly over the nation.

"But, Google Earth can outflank them," he said.

The Australian believes the sites to be up to 9,000 years old, but ground verification is required.