By David Kennedy and Robert Bewley
Many claim that aerial archaeology was created in the Middle East and there is no doubt that its potential was developed here. For a variety of reasons, following its origins and early history, the use of aerial photography was punctuated and then arrested for so many years – to be resurrected by the pioneering work of David Kennedy using existing aerial photographs. In 1997 a major breakthrough was achieved by a flight with the Royal Jordanian Air Force; since then there has been a continuous programme of aerial reconnaissance, discovering new sites, monitoring the condition of others and illustrating the famous sites from new angles.
In 2004 Ancient Jordan from the Air was published, and although the reconnaissance and photography has continued, the next phase of the project is to develop better access to the archive; create an online access to the images and associated database, and begin to train Jordanian archaeologists in air-photo interpretation and the use of aerial survey in the management of their cultural heritage. The PEF has played a significant role in sponsoring the Aerial Archaeology in Jordan project through research grants. The PEF also has part of the project's photographic archive in its collections.
David Kennedy, BA (Manchester), D.Phil (Oxford), FSA, FAHA, is a Professor of Roman Archaeology and History at the University of Western Australia. He is the author of several books including Rome's Desert Frontier from the Air (with Derrick Riley)(1990), The Twin Towns of Zeugma on the Euphrates (1998), and The Roman Army in Jordan (2nd edition, 2004).
Robert Bewley, BA (Manchester), M. Phil, PhD (Cambridge), MIFA, FSA, was Head of Survey for English Heritage and is now its Regional Director for the South West. He has published extensively including Prehistoric and Romano-British Settlement in the Solway Plain, Cumbria (1994), Lincolnshire’s Archaeology from the Air (1999); Aerial Archaeology: Developing Future Practice (2002; with W. Rączkowski) and Prehistoric Settlements (2003).
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