Sarah Parcak, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor


1401 University Blvd.
HHB 314
Birmingham, AL 35294-1152


Dr. Sarah Parcak is an Archaeologist and the founding Director of the Laboratory for Global Health Observation at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where she also holds a tenure-track position in the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences in the Department of Anthropology, and secondary appointments in the Departments of Epidemiology and Environmental Health Sciences in the School of Public Health. Dr. Parcak is a recognized expert in the use of remote sensing via satellite imagery analysis to detect archaeological sites, many of which were previously unknown. She is the director of the Middle Egypt Survey Project, and co-directs RESCUE (for Remote Sensing and Coring of Uncharted Egyptian Sites), a major survey project in Egypt, with her husband, Dr. Greg Mumford, also based at UAB.
Dr. Parcak has published widely in archaeological journals, and has written Satellite Remote Sensing for Archaeology (Routledge, 2009), the first methods book to ever appear on the subject of satellite archaeology. She has received extensive media coverage for her work in satellite archaeology by the Discovery Channel (where she was featured in “Why Ancient Egypt Fell”), The Economist, The Times, Popular Science, National Geographic News, and internet-based news channels such as LiveScience, Google, AOL, Yahoo and MSNBC.

Dr. Parcak played soccer for Yale and Cambridge, and is an avid outdoorswoman. She enjoys playing classical, jazz, and bluegrass guitar.

Cambridge University, PhD 2005 Trinity College, Department of Archaeology (Egyptian Archaeology)
Cambridge University, M. Phil 2002 Trinity College, Department of Archaeology (Egyptian Archaeology)
Yale University, BA 2001 Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations (Egyptology) and Archaeological Studies

Research Interests:
My archaeological research interests are varied, focusing on using remote sensing technology and archaeological survey to discover past human-environment interactions. I have conducted archaeological excavation and survey work in Egypt for the past 10 years, working on projects or aiding teams in Sinai, the East Delta, Middle Egypt and the desert Oases (Kharga in particular). I have discovered hundreds of previously unknown ancient sites, which I am using to reconstruct past settlement patterns in Egypt’s floodplain regions. I am also interested in archaeological heritage and the illegal antiquities market, and examining how modern technology can aid in preventing site looting. Other research interests include archaeological site environment visualization, past population reconstruction, and dealing with issues of globalization in relationship to protecting cultural resources.

Teaching Areas:
Archaeology, Archaeological Science, Archaeological Theory, Landscape Archaeology, Egyptian Archaeology, Egyptology, Remote Sensing, GIS, Public Health

Recent Courses:
Introduction to Archaeology
Landscape Archaeology
Introduction to Egyptian Archaeology
Ancient Egyptian Civilization (Hieroglyphics)
Observing the Earth from Space (Introductory Remote Sensing)
Real World Remote Sensing/Remote Sensing and Public Health (Advanced Remote Sensing)
Advanced Anthropological Archaeology