Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Greater Zarqa, Jordan

Google Earth Screen Capture of urban development near Zarqa, north-east of Amman, Jordan. Click to enlarge.
In our last blog post we mentioned the impact of the expansion of the urban areas of Amman. While cataloguing historical imagery in our collection today, I have stumbled upon a perfect example which I was able to overlay in Google Earth after a bit of difficulty finding the location due to the extent the landscape had changed.

The image above is dated 22 August 2011. It does not differ much from the imagery dated eight years earlier below.

Google Earth Screen Capture of the same area as above, dated September 2003. Click to enlarge.
Compare, however with this RAF photograph taken in 1951.
Aerial photograph layered in Google Earth. Photograph V13RAF612 28 June 1951. Click to enlarge.
The contrast between the two images, fifty years apart, shows that the landscape has completely been transformed by the modern urbanisation of greater Amman to the south and Zarqa to the north-east. This specific area is of interest due to the location of el-Hadid (see Kennedy, D.L. 2002, 'Qaryat al-Hadid: a 'Lost' Roman Military Site in Northern Jordan', Levant, 34: 99-110), which you can see pinned in the top right of the screen captures. In the area specifically covered by the RAF photograph, however, we can see no trace of built remains on the surface except fields along the Wadi Zarqa.

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