TEL AVIV, Israel, March 8 (UPI) -- Israel has archaeological sites waiting to be unearthed and a Tel Aviv University researcher says he has just the tool to scratch the surface.
Historians say these sites, buried under highways or underneath cities, could reveal historic monuments from the biblical past and offer a map of migration through the Fertile Crescent.
A new tool from Professor Lev Eppelbaum of the university's Department of Geophysics and Planetary Sciences may provide directions about where to dig, the university said Tuesday in a release.
Eppelbaum's tool collects data from a number of sources-- such as radio transmitters used to communicate with nuclear submarines and detailed magnetic field observations -- and applies an algorithmic approach to the measurements to decipher what lies below the Earth's surface up to several dozen yards deep. His tool can help people "see" meaningful objects, artifacts or civilizations, and lay them out in a four-dimensional chart.
The tool interprets what it "sees" by recognizing image targets, he said. The interpretation can be used to develop a model for archaeologists hoping to explore a particular region.
"Inspired by Israel, where we have so many archaeological records underfoot, my tool can also help Americans locate old native burial grounds, and determine minerals and elements several yards below the surface," he said.
Existing methods for scanning sites of potential archaeological and geological importance can produce significant background noise or inconclusive readings, he said.
This tool offers a financially and technologically efficient way to localize and classify ancient buried objects, as well as estimate the potential of further archaeological investigations, he said.