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Athena Review

Journal of  Archaeology, History, and Exploration

Rivers Seen from Space: Index

Rivers have always been a primary focus of human settlement, and are perhaps the single most consistent natural feature related to the location and discovery of archaeological sites. A survey of satellite and aerial views from NASA/JPL sources ranging from Gemini and Landsat to TOPSAR and SIR-C (from the 1960s through 1990s) includes numerous pictures of the Nile, Amazon, Mississippi, and other major river systems. Their striking visual patterns (enhanced by the false-color imagery used in interpretation) reveal a diversity of both natural and human-made processes within important zones of long-term habitation.  

Egypt and Sudan:

Nile Delta near Alexandria (Gemini 4, 1965)

Nile Delta at Cairo (SIR-C, 1994)

Nile River at Giza (SIR-C, 1994)

Upper Nile at As Sudd, Sudan (Gemini 6A, 1965)


Flevoland, The Netherlands (SIR-C, 1994)

North America:

Mississippi River at New Orleans (SIR-C, 1994)

Mississippi Delta (SIR-C, 1994)

St. Louis: the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers (SIR-C, 1994)

Missouri River at Glasgow, Missouri (SIR-C, 1994)

Missouri River at Lisbon Bottom: detail of floodplain and adjacent uplands  (TOPSAR, 1994)

South America:

Amazon River at Manaus, Brazil (SIR-C, 1994)

Comandatuba River at Bahia, Brazil (SIR-C, 1994)

Rio Sao Francisco, Bebedouro, Brazil (SIR-C, 1994)

Orinoco and Essequibo Rivers, Venezuela and Guyana (Gemini 10, 1966)


Athena Review Remote Sensing index


link to NASA/JPL

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