A Drone’s Eye View of the Ancient Pyramids of Egypt, Sudan & Mexico

A cou­ple years ago we fea­tured drone footage shot above Los Ange­les, New York, Lon­don, Bangkok, and Mex­i­co City, the sort of metrop­o­lis­es that rank among the great­est works of mod­ern man. But the pilot-pho­tog­ra­phers of small, unmanned, cam­era-bear­ing air­craft have pro­duced equal­ly fas­ci­nat­ing visu­al rev­e­la­tions of the great works of not-so-mod­ern-man. Just above, for instance, we have a drone fly­over of the Nubian pyra­mids of Meroë, Sudan. You can see more such footage at Nation­al Geo­graph­ic, whose engi­neer Alan Turchik has tak­en his own quad­copter out there.

“The part of the site that draws the most atten­tion is the under­ground bur­ial cham­ber of a Nubian king who con­quered Egypt in 715 B.C.,” writes Nation­al Geo­graph­ic’s Nora Rap­pa­port. She quotes Turchik on the ben­e­fits of his cho­sen pho­to­graph­ic tech­nol­o­gy, which allows him to “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.”

That holds just as true for oth­er sites of inter­est, such as the famous pyra­mids of Giza, cap­tured just above by a trav­el­er-drone pho­tog­ra­ph­er from Chi­na. (Fly­ing drones in Egypt, we should note, has recent­ly become a more dif­fi­cult propo­si­tion; an enthu­si­ast called Izzy Drones made a video on the com­plex­i­ties of his own mis­sion to shoot the pyra­mids last year.)

Just as you’ll vis­it the pyra­mids if you take a trip to Cairo, you’ll vis­it the pyra­mids if you take a trip to Mex­i­co City — but the pyra­mids of the still-impres­sive, still-mys­te­ri­ous ancient city of Teoti­huacán. “Heli­copters ille­gal­ly fly over this area for for­eign dig­ni­taries, but we were told we might be the first to have filmed the pyra­mids with a drone,” writes the uploader of the video just above. He and his col­lab­o­ra­tors shot it ear­ly one morn­ing for a Boston Uni­ver­si­ty research project on “what the ruins of a pre-Aztec metrop­o­lis can teach us about today’s cities.” His­to­ry and urban­ism buffs alike will want to read the accom­pa­ny­ing arti­cle, but even just a glance at these clips tells you one thing for sure: whether old and long-ruined or rel­a­tive­ly new and thriv­ing, every city looks good from above.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

A Haunt­ing Drone’s‑Eye View of Cher­nobyl

Auschwitz Cap­tured in Haunt­ing Drone Footage (and a New Short Film by Steven Spiel­berg & Meryl Streep)

A Beau­ti­ful Drone’s Eye View of Antarc­ti­ca

A Drone’s Eye View of Los Ange­les, New York, Lon­don, Bangkok & Mex­i­co City

The Best Drone Cin­e­ma in the World

Based in Seoul, Col­in Mar­shall writes and broad­casts on cities and cul­ture. He’s at work on a book about Los Ange­les, A Los Ange­les Primer, the video series The City in Cin­e­ma, the crowd­fund­ed jour­nal­ism project Where Is the City of the Future?, and the Los Ange­les Review of Books’ Korea Blog. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.

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