AI spots Mesopotamian archaeological sites in satellite images

An artificial intelligence can identify sites of Mesopotamian remains with 80 per cent accuracy – it could help archaeologists quickly work out where to dig

Technology 21 February 2023

Map of part of Maysan province, Iraq, showing the predicted location of archaeological sites

An AI model predicted places (yellow) in Maysan province, Iraq, that should hide archaeological sites. They match up well with potential sites identified by archaeologists (turquoise), but also reveal other potential places of interest

University of Bologna

Artificial intelligence could help archaeologists quickly identify new sites to investigate from satellite imagery or aerial photos, and even spot ones we might otherwise have missed.

Archaeology is a painstaking, often slow, process. It involves looking for sites that are buried and these aren’t always obvious from surface studies. Researchers currently use satellite photos to decide where …

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