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February 11, 2013

Space archaeologist Parcak to speak at University of Montevallo

MONTEVALLO—Dr. Sarah Parcak, space archaeologist and a professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, will be the University of Montevallo’s 2013 Hallie Farmer Lecturer. The event will be held in the theater at Parnell Memorial Library in Montevallo on Tuesday, Feb. 26, at 7 p.m. A public reception will follow at 8:30 p.m.

A recognized expert in the use of remote sensing via satellite imagery analysis to detect archaeological sites, Parcak has appeared in a number of television productions including on the Discovery Channel, where she was featured in “Why Ancient Egypt Fell” and “What Lies Beneath,” as well as in a number of published news outlets and internet-based news channels. Her use of satellite remote sensing imagery in researching archaeological sites has brought previously unrecognized ancient landscapes to light. She has published widely in archaeological journals and has written Satellite Remote Sensing for Archaeology (Routledge, 2009), the first methods book to ever appear on the subject of satellite archaeology.

A native of Maine, Parcak played soccer and other sports in high school and chose Yale University for soccer as well as for academics. While pursuing a double major in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations (Egyptology) and Archaeological Studies, she worked with a world-renowned Egyptologist and attended an excavation at Mendes in Egypt. In her senior year, she took an introductory class in interpreting satellite imagery, and that class changed her life.

Parcak received her Ph.D. from Cambridge University in the U.K., focusing on satellite imagery and ground survey in mapping landscapes in Egypt. (She also played varsity soccer at Cambridge, winning her varsity blue and leading Cambridge to a 4-0 defeat of Oxford with 2 goals and 2 assists.)

After marrying Egyptologist Greg Mumford and teaching for a year at the University of Wales-Swansea, Parcak and Mumford returned to the U.S. in 2006. Both Parcak and Mumford landed posts in the Department of Anthropology at UAB where Parcek is also founding director of the Laboratory for Global Health Observation.

Continuing their work in Egyptology, the couple co-directs RESCUE (Remote Sensing and Coring of Uncharted Egyptian Sites), a major survey project in Egypt. Parcek also is director of the Middle Egypt Survey Project.

Hallie Farmer lectures bring distinguished figures in the social sciences to Montevallo for two to three days of lectures and informal appearances. Guests have ranged from a former U.S. secretary of state to a Russian-American documentary filmmaker. The lecture series was established in 1985 in memory of Montevallo professor and civic leader Hallie Farmer.

For additional information on Parcak’s lecture, contact Carey Heatherly at 205-665-6107 or at heatherlycw@montevallo.edu.

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