Amazing Drone Footage of Nubian Pyramids

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Armed with a remotely operated mini­-helicopter, National Geographic engineer Alan Turchik gets a bird’s­-eye view of 3,000-­year-­old royal burial chambers. The unique perspective is helping to unravel ancient Nubian mysteries.

“The best part with the helicopter is I can fly over and gain this connection between all the other burial sites, between the pyramid and the temple, and get an understanding of what that is from the air,” says Turchik.

Turchik is part of an expedition led by National Geographic grantee, Geoff Emberling, the first archaeologist to visit the site in El Kurru, Sudan, in almost 100 years.

On the ground, Emberling is also using cutting edge technology—a remote controlled robot—to excavate caves where no modern human has gone before, but good old-fashioned manual labor proves most effective in breaking through years’ worth of sand, dirt, and rocks. After removing about 250 tons of debris from the site, the team uncovers many artifacts from millennia ago, but Emberling is still left with many questions about the cryptic site.

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