Archeology involves the art of finding old things no one else has. Its history as a mainstream academic practice stretches back as least as far as 1842 when Karl Richard Lepsius first mapped Egypt’s pyramids – which are among the 30 oldest structures in the world.
Archeologists remain forever busy. They find old artifacts and even whole cities nearly every year. The latest such discovery was at Türkmen-Karahöyük in Anatolia, in modern-day southern Turkey, which dates to 1400 B.C. It was discovered just over two years ago – one of some 24 ancient cities that have just been discovered.
While surveying Türkmen-Karahöyük, an ancient mound, a group of archaeologists talked to a local farmer who had seen a stone with inscriptions on it in an irrigation canal. Upon finding and translating the stone, they realized they’d come upon a kingdom ruled by King Hartapu, who defeated King Midas in the eighth century B.C. The site appears to cover 300 acres, and the team expects to find monuments, dwellings, and a palace inside the mound.
Today, not everyone needs to dig the way Lepsius had to early in the 19th century. Technologies like LiDAR and satellite imaging have made this easier in our day. LiDAR – which stands for “light detection and ranging,” is a laser sensing technology that is used to create topographical images of the earth. Drones mounted with LiDAR have been used to discover hundreds of ancient structures that are currently buried in dense forest or sand.