Google Earth: Inspiration and Instrument for the Study of Ancient Civilizations

Jaroslav Klokočník, Jan Kostelecký, Karel Pavelka

Abstract


Satellite imaging is well known as a useful tool in many scientific disciplines and various applications.  Google Earth, with its free access, is now - thanks to increasing resolution and precision - such a tool. It can be very inspiring. It improves the visualization and dissemination of scientific data, and opens doors to new discoveries. For example, many Nasca geoglyphs are now visible to Google Earth and so are the orientations of Chinese pyramids, which appear to be laid out with the aid of a magnetic compass. Google Earth also infor-med us about the “new” archaeological locality Atzompa close to the well known “Monte Alban” near Oaxaca (Mexico), which we then visited (in March 2010). Google Earth can also “see” prehistoric causeways in Mesoamerica, “sacbeob” and in the Chaco valley (New Mexico). We find that Google Earth can save time and resources to researches significantly: before, during and after field works and measurements; we present examples.

Keywords


Google Earth, Nasca geoglyphs and petroglyphs (Peru), Chinese “pyramids”(Xi'an and Luoyang, central China), Monte Alban - Atzompa (Mexico), ancient roads (Yucatán, Mexico, Chaco valley, New Mexico).

References


D. Potere, “Horizontal Positional Accuracy of Google Earth's High Resolution Imagery Archive”, Sensors, vol. 8, 2008, pp. 7973-7981, doi: 10.3390/s8127973.

J. Klokočník and J. Kostelecký, “Google Earth for the Study of Ancient Civilizations“, presented at the „2010 Second International Conference on Advanced Geographic Information Systems, Applications, and Services“, © 2010 IEEE DOI 10.1109/GEOProcessing.2010.16

M. Reiche, “Mystery on the Desert Nasca, Peru”, Assoc. Maria Reiche for the lines of Nasca, reedition 1996, Nasca, Peru.

D. Johnson, “Beneath the Nasca Lines and other Coastal Geoglyphs of Peru and Chile”, Global Learning, Inc., Pough-keepsie, NY, 2009. See also: www.museum-albersdorf.de/nazca.

K. Schreiber, J. L. Rojas, and S. Barbara, “The Water Systems of the Nasca Culture“, Nasca Symp. 2006, Bielefeld, Germany, Dresdner Kartogr. Schriften, eds. B. Teichert and Ch. Rust, HTW Dresden 2007, pp. 43-54.

P. Kosok, “Life, Land and Water in Ancient Peru“, Long Island Univ. Press, New York, 1965.

B. Teichert, “Astronomical Investigations of the Nasca Lines“, Nasca Symp. 2006, Bielefeld, Dresdener Kartograpische Schriften, eds. B. Teichert and Ch. Rust, HTW Dresden 2007, pp. 87-101.

E. Hadingham, “Lines to Mountain Gods, Nazca and the Mysteries of Peru“, Norman, New York, 1988.

J. Klokočník, F.Vítek, Z. Klokočníková, and R.A. Rodrigues, “Los Geoglifos de Nazca, Perú“, Boll. Inst. RivaAguero # 29.2002 (BIRA), Pontif. Univ. Católica del Perú, pp. 13-29.

J. Klokočník and K. Pavelka, “Nasca, Peru: El Astronauto is a Fisherman“, Ameridian Research, Bd. 5/2, pp. 166-168, ISSN 1862-3867, Dr. M. Koch Verlag, Rogeez, Germany (in German).

I. Charvátová, J. Klokočník, J. Kolmaš, and J. Kostelecký, “Chinese Tombs Oriented by a Compass: Evidence from Paleo-magnetic Pole Changes vs Tombs age”, Studia G. et G., 2010 in press.

R. H. Fuson, “The Orientation of Mayan ceremonial centers”, Annals Assoc. American Geograph., vol. 59, 1969, pp. 494-511.

K.Pavelka: Topographic and Thematic Mapping from Multi-Resolution Satellite Image. Proceedings of 24th ICA Conference. Santiago: International Cartographic Association, 2009, vol. 1, p. 956-962.

J. B. Carlson, “Lodestone Compass: Chinese or Olmecs Primacy? Science, vol. 189, 1975, 753-760.

J. Klokočník, J. Kostelecký, F. Vítek, “Pyramids and Cerem-onial Centers in Mesoamerica: were they Oriented

a Magnetic Compass?”, Studia G. et G., vol. 51, 2007, pp. 515−533.

A. Aveni, “Skywatchers of ancient Mexico“, Univ. Texas Press, 1980.

A. Sofaer, and contributors to The Solstice Project, “Chaco astronomy, an ancient american cosmology”, Ocean Tree Books, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 2008.


Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.