ananyo writes: By combining spy-satellite photos obtained in the 1960s with modern multispectral images and digital maps of Earth's surface, researchers have created a new method for mapping large-scale patterns of human settlement. The approach was used to map some 14,000 settlement sites spanning eight millennia in 23,000 square kilometres of northeastern Syria — part of the fertile crescent of the Middle East (abstract). Traditional archaeology has focused on the big features such as cities or palaces but the new technique uncovers networks of small settlements, revealing migration patterns and sparking renewed speculation about the importance of water to city development.
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