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).

A satellite image overlaid with the approximate location of archaeological features immediately north of Azraq, Jordan.

Historical aerial photographs and archaeology in the Middle East and North Africa

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.