“[UCSD] are hoping to use advanced visualization and analytical technologies … to pinpoint Khan's tomb and conduct a non-invasive archaeological analysis of the area where he is believed to be buried.”
On first reading, the 16 October article appears very interesting. The approach is easy to understand:
“If you have a large burial, that's going to have an impact on the landscape. To find Khan's tomb, we'll be using remote sensing techniques and satellite imagery to take digital pictures of the ground in the surrounding region …
Once we've narrowed down … [the] region in Mongolia … we'll use techniques such as ground penetrating radar, electromagnetic induction and magnetometry to produce non-destructive, non-invasive surveys.
We'll then … create a high-resolution, 3-D representation of the site."Sounds great but something was troubling me. After I’d read the article a couple of times it became clear that this was mainly academic PR. The interviewee, Albert Yu-Min Lin, is:
“… looking to establish a position at UCSD that will allow him to spearhead the three-year Valley of the Khans project, which will require $700,000 in funding …”Reading between the lines Lin’s pitching for a job, needs the job to get funding and needs the funding to set up the team before starting work.
My suspicions were confirmed when I checked out and the Valley of the Khans project website and discovered that it was registered on 01 Oct 2008; just two weeks before the USCD article appeared. Definitely academic PR.
So I don’t think we should hold our breath but the project looks interesting so I wish Dr. Lin good luck.