Fig.1. A 1930s vertical photograph over the pyramid complex at Giza, Egypt, generously shared with the project by Owen Masters.

Reflections on the EAMENA aerial photograph appeal

Back in early 2017 we started trying to develop access to historic aerial photographs for the MENA region to support the work of the EAMENA project. This work was primarily driven by the need to access high-resolution imagery for The Occupied Palestinian Territories, where U.S. legislation known as the Kyl-Bingaman Amendment limited the resolution of contemporary commercial satellite imagery for this area. It also built on the earlier work of Professor David Kennedy’s work on our sister project, APAAME, in gathering these historic aerial photographs and our colleague Rebecca Repper’s work in digitising the Sir Aurel Stein and O.G.S. Crawford collections at the British Academy and UCL respectively.

Figure 3: The landing page of the Yemen Heritage Management Platform

EAMENA, UNESCO, and Yemeni authorities collaborate to build a national digital database to monitor Yemen’s rich heritage landscapes

Following a successful grant increase bid earlier this month to the British Council’s Cultural Protection Fund (CPF), the Endangered Archaeology of the Middle East and North Africa (EAMENA) Project will now embark on the construction of a digital heritage management platform to help support the vital work of Yemen’s national authorities.

Translating EAMENA’s platform into Arabic: challenges and solutions

The EAMENA project documents endangered heritage in 20 countries in the Middle East and North Africa. In all but Iran, Arabic is the main language spoken in these countries. Therefore, in order to enhance the value of the EAMENA database as a heritage mapping and management tool for researchers and institutions based in the MENA region, the team has prioritised translating the platform into this language.

EAMENA at international round table on Yemen

We took part in a UNESCO-sponsored international round table held in the UNITAR offices in Geneva on 11 December 2015.

The scope of the round table, which included 15 participants (plus Justine Mackinnon of the Qatar Computing Research Institute via Skype conference call), was to discuss strategies for the integration of current crowdsourcing and mapping projects to aid Yemeni authorities in their efforts to monitor and assess damage to the country’s endangered cultural heritage.


I want to consider the two extremes of endangered archaeology. On the one hand, we have the headline-grabbing destruction of part of a World Heritage Site, whilst on the other there is natural erosion and people going about their everyday lives, oblivious to what lies right under their feet (or, in this case tyres).

EAMENA’s collaboration with regional partners in the MENA region

The two previous blog entries have looked at ways in which we at EAMENA are mapping archaeological sites, whether extant or now destroyed, by analysing satellite imagery and historical aerial photographs. With tens of thousands of sites already recorded in the span of four months across Libya, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Yemen, these techniques are proving incredibly successful in documenting the cultural landscape of the MENA region.