Google Earth may soon replace shovels as the main tool that archeologists use to dig into the past (NOTE: Subscribers can still listen to this show): Almost two thousand potential archeological sites in Saudi Arabia have been discovered thanks to satellite images from there.

In New Scientist, Wendy Zukerman quotes Australian archeologist David Kennedy as saying, "I’ve never been to Saudi Arabia. It’s not the easiest country to break into." So Kennedy scanned the Saudi desert with Google Earth and found many new sites, searching for things such as ancient tear-drop shaped tombs made of stone. While it’s hard to get permission to do aerial photography of the country, Zuckerman quotes Kennedy as saying, "But Google Earth can outflank them."

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