Already, the teams have their eye on other areas where it could be used. For example, Arlen Chase believes it could help us to better understand settlement patterns along the Amazon, which can now only be glimpsed in satellite imagery on tree-cleared landscapes. He also believes it will also allow us to understand ancient African migrations and cultures, also currently obscured by forests. Other targets include Sri Lanka, India and other sites around South-East Asia. They also believe it could begin to be used to find sites such as ancient harbours, currently covered by water.
“I suspect that, as we examine Lidar for different places, we’re going to wind up finding things in different places that we would not have thought to try to find,” says Leisz.
Parcak puts it more prosaically. Technology, she says, is going to make us realize how little we know and how much left there is to explore.
“It's the most exciting time in history to be an archaeologist,” she says.