Sarah Parcak can see looting at ancient sites—from space. Dr. Parcak, 37, who calls herself a space archaeologist, uses satellite imaging to find undiscovered ruins and to track those that have been compromised.
In the past few years, she has spotted thousands of previously unknown tombs, temples and entire ancient cities, mostly in Egypt, and she isn’t slowing down. Meanwhile, looters of different sorts, from local residents to Islamic State terrorists, are raiding ruins in the Middle East for profit. “We’re in this race against time,” she says. “If we don’t go and find these sites, they’ll be gone.”