Have you ever wondered how an archaeologist knows where to dig? Traditional methods include surveying, which involves combing entire landscapes for indications of past habitation and a good deal of difficult work. Some archaeologists, like tonight’s special guest Dr. Jason Ur, are making life a little easier by consulting satellite imagery and aerial photographs for clues of ancient civilizations. Find out what role these recently developed techniques may have in cultural heritage management, and learn how scholars are using these tools not only to pinpoint site locations, but to answer big questions about the relationship between ancient humans and their environment.
Jason Ur is the John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Social Sciences in the Department of Anthropology at Harvard University. He specializes in early urbanism, landscape archaeology, and remote sensing. He has directed field surveys in Syria, Iraq, Turkey, and Iran. He is the author of Urbanism and Cultural Landscapes in Northeastern Syria: The Tell Hamoukar Survey, 1999-2001 (2010). Currently he is leading an archaeological survey in the Kurdistan Region of northern Iraq, and preparing a history of Mesopotamian cities.