More Pyramids Found Through Satellite

June 8, 2011

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. archaeological (adj.) – describes something that is related to archaeology, the scientific study of ancient culture or way of life of people
Example: The archaeological site is located in Egypt where one of the oldest cities was established.

2. infrared (n.) – a kind of energy wave that is longer than light but shorter than radio waves
Example: Soldiers use infrared to find enemies at night.
3. excavation (n.) – the act of making a hole or digging a certain area
Example: The excavation was done by the engineers who were assigned to build the foundation of the tower.

4. antiquity (n.) – something that belongs to the very distant past (during the ancient times)
ExampleAntiquities are sold at a high price because they are rare.

5. perspective (n.) – a view that is seen from afar
Example: When I went up the mountain, I had the best perspective of the whole town.

Article (10 minutes)
Let the student read the article aloud. For the Comprehension Questions, you may:
     (a) Ask the questions in between. Tell the student ahead of time when to pause from reading.
     (b) Ask the questions after he finishes reading everything. 
For words difficult to pronounce, pronunciation guides are provided beside the word.

Satellite images gathered by American Egyptologist Dr. Sarah Parcak reveal a new archaeological site in Egypt with more than 3,000 tombs and 1,000 houses.

Using infrared imaging, outline of structures buried underground can be seen. Infrared is able to distinguish different materials and because ancient Egyptian houses and structures are made of mud brick, which is heavier than the surrounding soil, the outline is visible from space, Dr. Parcak explained.

To confirm the images, Dr. Parcak went to a part of the actual site located in Saqqar. At first, authorities assumed it was a less important ancient site. But when Dr. Parcak informed the authorities of two pyramids identified in the images, they made a test excavation and eventually found evidence of the said pyramids.

Dr. Parcak got a more reliable proof when they successfully excavated a 3,000 year-old house in Tanis which perfectly matched the outline shown in the infrared image.

Egyptian authorities say the technology can be useful to protect antiquities. Through infrared, they can determine if a site has been robbed, enabling them to watch out for any item that will be sold from the time the robbery was observed.

Dr. Parcak added that because infrared provides a larger perspective, archaeologist will be able to choose which particular site to excavate first.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         Do you think pyramids should be protected? Why or why not?
·         What is the importance of knowing ancient history?

Discussion B

·         Should antiquities be sold rather than kept in a museum? Please explain your answer.
·         If you ever find an ancient item, would you sell it? Why or why not?

June 8, 2011