Ground visits are extremely useful, and can be used to validate and check that the interpretations we had made based on remote sensing imagery are correct. For the eight archaeological sites we visited, we could confirm that they are indeed archaeological sites, and that the features we had identified through remote sensing were also correct
In May 2017, the EAMENA project launched an appeal for historical aerial photographs to aid the team in the identification of archaeological sites and possible factors threatening them. A subsequent post on the same appeal in the Royal Air Force Association magazine Air Mail led to a number of responses, including one from John Clubb, a former navigator in 683 Squadron RAF.
We spend a lot of time talking about how we can record and protect archaeology in the Middle East and North Africa, but in this blog post I want to present a different approach that we have been experimenting with during an archaeological survey project in the Wadi Draa, Morocco.
The UCL Institute of Archaeology Air Survey Photographs: an archaeological reference collection of Royal Air Force aerial imagery from 1918–1939
The UCL Institute of Archaeology Collections Air Survey photographs comprise a series of glass plate negatives, cellulose negatives, safety negatives, and prints of Royal Air Force (RAF) aerial photographs taken between 1918 and 1939. The photographs are predominantly of Iraq, the former Transjordan, Egypt, and Sudan (see distribution map).
In the EAMENA Project, most of the time we see the world from above, through satellite imagery or aerial photographs. These are very informative and, moreover, a quick way to examine and assess large areas of the landscape. However, there are some things that we simply cannot see from above.
The eighth international conference on Science and Technology in Archaeology and Conservation (STAC8) took place in Amman, Jordan, from 21 to 25 May 2017. Its main organisers were WATCH and CULTECH Jordan, and the conference took place under the patronage of the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities of Jordan, UNESCO, and ICCROM.
Historical aerial photographs are of great value for the EAMENA project, and we have recent launched an appeal to locate any held in archives or private collections. They can be analysed in conjunction with more recent photographs or satellite images and used to identify archaeological sites that have since been lost or altered by subsequent development, or to assess broader landscape change.
If you have access to or information about the whereabouts of any historical aerial photographs for the Middle East or North Africa, whether prints or negatives, we would be very interested to hear from you.
Since the beginning of 2017, one of the tasks the EAMENA team have been busy working on is collating and digitising existing data from surveys and excavations in Lebanon. These are published in a variety of places and ways, ranging from, for example, synthetic overview reports, to institute newsletters and archaeological journals.
Numerous surveys have been carried out across Northern Lebanon, from the Akkar plain in the north, to Copeland and Wescombe’s work across Lebanon as a whole