Historical Aerial Imagery in Jordan and the Wider Middle East



Hundreds of thousands of aerial photographs of Middle Eastern countries have been taken since the beginning of the First World War. The majority has been destroyed, but tens of thousands survive in archives in several countries. Identification of and research on these collections has grown rapidly in recent years. Although the potential value of these ‘historical’ photographs has long been known, the rapid and dramatic development in Middle Eastern countries, affecting archaeological sites and landscapes, has accelerated the need for such records. This chapter surveys the present state of our knowledge of historical archive aerial photography, illustrates its use through specific examples and sets out a programme for increasing access to the ‘archive’ and opening it up to researchers through a web-based collection.


Aerial Photograph Middle East Archaeological Site Satellite Imagery Aerial Photography 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Abbreviations and Web Addresses

Aerial Photos of Israel 1917–1919, University of Haifa Library, Digital Media Center


Aerial Photographic Archive for Archaeology in the Middle East


Hunting Aerial Survey of Jordan, 1953


The Jordanian Archaeological Data Information System (Palumbo 1994).


Middle Eastern Geodatabase for Antiquities:


The National Archives, Kew, UK:


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Honorary Visiting Professor at the Institute of Archaeology, UCLLondonUK
  2. 2.Classics and Ancient HistoryThe University of Western AustraliaCrawleyAustralia

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