(New Scientist) Traditionally, archaeology has involved a lot of digging through both archives and dirt, as well as being in the right place at the right time. But the last decade has seen the development of a completely new tool, says Dr David Thomas, a pioneer of the field of satellite archaeology.

“The detail in many of the images is astonishing and allows archaeologists to investigate sites without leaving the safety of their offices,” says David, who is from Melbourne’s La Trobe University and gave a talk today on ‘armchair archaeology’ at the Melbourne Museum.

“While this has obvious advantages, it also presents archaeologists with new problems and challenges,” he says.

David is one of few experts who have been able to carry out work in Afghanistan over the last few decades, and he says that some of the countries with the most important archaeological remains are also the most dangerous to work in.

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