When Professor David Kennedy started working in Jordan in 1976, he could see that aerial reconnaissance, a well-established technique for archaeology in Europe, would be extremely useful for his research, but in those days this was not possible. This all changed in 1997 when the Royal Jordanian Air Force provided a flight explicitly for the purpose of reconnaissance of archaeological sites, thanks to the active support of Their Royal Highnesses Prince al-Hassan and General Prince Feisal, and of the British Air Attaché at the time, Mike Sedman. Dr Robert Bewley joined Kennedy in 1998 and since then, the Aerial Archaeology in Jordan Project has conducted at least two flights every year of aerial reconnaissance for archaeological sites in Jordan. Generally, flights are conducted in the spring and autumn to make best use of the light and conditions.
Jordan is a relatively small country and contains a wealth of archaeological sites of all periods. The small amount of arable land and the nature of the growing season mean that ‘cropmarks’ (which reveal buried sites through visible variations in crop growth), are rare. Instead the majority of sites photographed are stoneworks, earthworks or buildings. The diversity of archaeological sites is showcased in the AAJ Project’s publication Ancient Jordan from the Air.