Although NASA explores the space in general, they sometimes explore the Earth as well through satellite imaging and space observation. This has helped archeologists to make groundbreaking discoveries, such as the recent case of uncovering a 10 500-year old lost city beneath a layer of thick forest in Connecticut.
The agency found the lost city with the help of “remote-sensing equipment”. According to experts, the ruins of the lost city were inhabited by hunter-gatherers who funneled bison into dead-ends and killed them afterwards. The ruins were located in the area around Beaver River in Western Oklahoma thanks to the LIDAR technology. This device can recreate a 3D model of the surface along with bushes, grass and trees and can create a bare-earth vision as well, removing obstacles for a cleaner look of the surface. This allows archeologists to see overgrown structures that wouldn’t be obvious on the ground. This has also allowed scientists to see a clear view of fossils and bones beneath the surface.
The LIDAR technology has been developed from the equipment scientists use to look at distant planets, moons and asteroids. NASA has been incorporating LIDAR equipment in their missions as far back as the Apollo mission. “The device has been useful in delineating where we need to concentrate our efforts,” archeologist Paul LaRoque says. “It saved us a lot of time and effort. You’ll never find bison bones with airborne LIDAR, but you can find the geological features that suggest a place to look,” says Meg Watters, a remote sensing expert. The same technology has helped archeologists uncover the ancient city of Ciudad Blanca in Honduras.