Monday 19 December 2011

To Harra or to Harret...

Transliteration of Arabic into English is not a perfect art - many place names will have multiple spellings in circulation making life a little difficult.
We received some clarification from a native Arabic speaker who is also fluent in English regarding 'harrat' - lavafields, over which many of the prehistoric stone built structures such as kites, pendants and wheels are built. The follow advice we hope you will also find informative and useful.

If you are talking about one lavafield it is harra (singular).
Two or more is harrat (plural). (Harrat Khaybar would mean the lavafields (plural) of Khaybar).
Used in conjunction with a specific name it becomes Harret - The great lavafield sprawling across northeast Jordan and into its neighbours is Harret al-Shaam. In Jordan they commonly simply refer to it as Al-Harra.

Thursday 15 December 2011

Syrian Kites

Having been distracted by Jordan and the wondrous Harrat ash-Sham, it is only recently that we returned to monitoring what high-resolution imagery had become available in Syria. A large section of imagery north east of Tadmur (Palmyra) has kept us busy with these stunning kites, as well as a few pendants and bullseye cairns.
Bullseye Cairns along a ridge, Syria.

A cluster of Kites, Syria.

Two Pendants along a ridge, Syria.

Monday 5 December 2011


We have two new publications out recently.

Hibabiya, a site in Jordan that has recently been destroyed, was initially identified as a prehistoric village from aerial photography conducted by the 'Pioneers' in the Transjordan in the 1930s. Reassessment of the aerial imagery and the discovery of crucial dating evidence collected well before its destruction suggests an early Islamic date.
Kennedy, D.L. (2011) 'Recovering the past from above: Hibabiya-an early Islamic village in the Jordanian desert?', Arabian Archaeology and Epigraphy 22: 253-260.

Now out in hardcopy, and not just online:
Kennedy, D.L. (2011) 'The 'Works of the Old Men' in Arabia: remote sensing in interior Arabia', Journal of Archaeological Science 38, 3185-3203.
Full colour images of the whole paper only available in the online version due to printing restrictions in place by the publisher.