Archaeologists worked hard to unearth what might well be only the second Viking site ever discovered in North America – but they had a little help from a higher power.
To be precise, 386 miles higher, in the form of DigitalGlobe’s WorldView-3 satellite.
It was the satellite’s near-infrared imagery that set Sarah Parcak, an archaeologist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and her colleagues on a quest to excavate the site on the southwestern coast of Newfoundland, known as Point Rosee.
“It screams, ‘Please excavate me!’” said Parcak, who won a $1 million TED Prize for her satellite sleuthing in Egypt.
Her quest in Newfoundland is the focus of a two-hour PBS/BBC documentary titled “Vikings Unearthed,” which makes its PBS broadcast debut on Wednesday and is available online for streaming via the “NOVA” website on PBS.org.