Thinking Tech

Do photos show the lost pyramids of Egypt?

Do photos show the lost pyramids of Egypt?

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Using Google Earth, an amateur archaeologist believes she has discovered a mysterious ancient site.

The photo on the left shows a mysterious site located 12 miles from the Egyptian city of Abu Sidhum. Believed to be a previously undiscovered pyramid complex, it features a formation with four mounds with a larger, triangular-shaped plateau.

Just ninety miles away is a second possible pyramid complex comprised of three mounds, with the largest one appearing in the form of a distinct, four-sided, truncated, "pyramidal" shape. The dimensions of the mounds are sizable, ranging from around 600 feet in width to 100 feet.

Using the powerful imaging capabilities of Google Earth, amateur archaeologist Angela Micol of Maiden, North Carolina discovered the sites during her ongoing 10-year quest to find the remains of ancient worlds. Nabil Selim, an Egyptologist and pyramid expert, believes the sites are an entirely new finding and, upon close examination, even observed that the smaller 100 foot “mounds”, at one of the proposed complex sites, are a similar size as the 13th Dynasty Egyptian pyramids, according to Micol's web site GoogleEarthAnomalies.com.

But don't get too excited. Skeptics who've seen the photos don't sound nearly as convinced, as evidenced by their reactions.

“There is a slight chance that one or two could be pyramids, but it doesn’t look like it to me,” Egyptologist Bob Brier, a senior research fellow at the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University, told NBCNews.com.

“It seems that Angela Micol is one of the so-called ‘pyridiots’ who see pyramids everywhere. Her Dimai and Abu Sidhum ‘pyramids’ are examples of natural rock formations that might be mistaken for archaeological features provided one is unburdened by any knowledge of archaeology or geology," James Harrell, a researcher at the University of Toledo, told LifesLittleMysteries.com. "In other words, her pyramids are just wishful thinking by an ignorant observer with an overactive imagination.”

Despite the harsh criticism, the armchair investigator continues to stand behind her claims. Last year, archaeologists used NASA satellites equipped with infrared scanners to unearth as many as 17 lost pyramids in Egypt and she hopes the same technology can be used to help verify her claims.

“The images speak for themselves. It’s very obvious what the sites may contain but field research is needed to verify they are, in fact, pyramids and evidence should be gathered to determine their origins," Micol said. "It is my hunch there is much more to these sites and with the use of Infrared imagery, we can see the extent of the proposed complexes in greater detail.”

In the meantime, Micol plans to start a non-profit to promote satellite archaeology and is also raising funds for a documentary that will include many of the undiscovered sites that have been identified using Google Earth.

So what do you think? Major find or mirage?

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Tuan Nguyen

Contributing Editor

Contributing Editor Tuan C. Nguyen is a freelance science journalist based in New York City. He has written for the U.S. News and World Report, Fox News, MSNBC, ABC News, AOL, Yahoo! News and LiveScience. Formerly, he was reporter and producer for the technology section of ABCNews.com. He holds degrees from the University of California Los Angeles and the City University of New York's Graduate School of Journalism. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure