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Egypt finds 17 lost pyramids

A satellite survey used infra-red images to detect underground buildings.

Egypt pyramids 2011 5 25Enlarge
Egyptians ride their camels past the pyramid of Khafre in Giza, on the outskirts of Cairo, on November 30, 2010. (Patrick Baz/AFP/Getty Images)

A new satellite survey of Egypt reportedly found 17 lost pyramids along with more than 1,000 tombs and 3,000 ancient settlements.

The survey used infra-red images to detect underground buildings, the BBC reports.

Satellites above the earth were equipped with cameras that could pin-point objects on the earth's surface less than three-feet wide. The infra-red imaging then highlighted different materials under the surface, it states.

The work was done by a NASA-sponsored laboratory in Birmingham, Alabama.

"To excavate a pyramid is the dream of every archeologist," Sarah Parcak who led the project told BBC.

See some of the satellite images.

Meanwhile, Egypt opened the tombs of seven men, including some who served King Tutankhamen, to tourists earlier this week after restoration, the Associated Press reports.

Egypt hopes the tombs in the New Kingdom Cemetery in South Saqqara will draw more tourists to the area.

Egypt's tourism industry has been badly hit by the revolution that toppled the government in February and subsequent political uncertainty.

The number of tourists to Egypt fell 46 percent in the first quarter, Reuters reported Sunday.

An upcoming BBC report, called “Egypt’s Lost Cities,” will follow Parcak's team as they investigate the findings. It will air on May 30.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/egypt/110525/egypt-finds-17-lost-pyramids