Friday 26 July 2013

Publications: Settlement and Soldiers in the Roman Near East

Ashgate Publishing contacted us last year regarding publishing a compilation of David Kennedy's past papers in a 'Variorum' volume. The unifying theme of this collection is Settlement and Soldiers in the Roman Near East, and the final result is a compilation of thirteen papers originally published in different sources from 1980 through to 2006. The volume includes a Preface, Addenda and Index for the included papers, as well as all images from the original papers.

David Kennedy

Settlement and Soldiers in the Roman Near East

Variorum Collected Studies Series: CS 1032 

Ashgate Publishing


ISBN: 9781409464365
Hardback, 300 pages
66 black and white illustrations
244 x 169 mm format

From the Ashgate website:
The Roman Near East has been a source of fascination and exasperation - an immense area, a rich archaeological heritage as well as documents in several local languages, a region with a great depth of urbanisation and development … yet relatively neglected by modern researchers and difficult to work on and in. Local archaeologists are often under-funded and the Roman period viewed as an earlier phase of western colonialism.

Happily, the immense surge in archaeological and historical research on the Roman period everywhere has included the Roman Near East and there have been significant academic developments.

This collection of studies on the Roman Near East represents Professor Kennedy’s academic assessment of the region, which began with his doctoral thesis on the contribution of Syria to the Roman army. Although the thesis was never published, several articles owe their genesis to work done then or soon after and are included here (VI, VII, IX, XII). Initial visits to military sites in Syria and Jordan swiftly brought out the presence in many cases of associated civil settlements and - though often now gone, the traces of ancient field systems. Hence, the two prominent sub-themes in this collection are the Roman military and various aspects of society and settlement - settlement types, farming, logistical underpinning and communications.

Thursday 25 July 2013

Searching APAAME Flickr by location

Perhaps one of the easiest way to search for images of a place is to search by its location. You will now be able to search using this method on our Flickr archive because we are currently uploading our geo-referencing metadata with our images. We'll let you know when it is all uploaded - check our Twitter @APAAME.

We geo-tag our images in one of two ways:
  1. a digitised image from the collection is georeferenced based on the site it represents
  2. a digital photograph is georeferenced based on the GPS of the flight path or camera when the photo was taken in real time.
The resulting scatter of location 'dots' will reflect these two methods of geotagging:
  • many photographs may be represented by one 'dot' where they have been georeferenced based on the location of the site
  • sequences of dots may indicate the path taken on a particular flight

To help you search our Flickr archive by location, we have composed this short tutorial.

How to search for a location in Flickr: (to expand images simply click on them)
1. Go to
What looks like when you first get there.
2. Zoom to the area you are interested in finding photographs for
Here I have zoomed in onto the ancient and modern town of Umm el-Jimal.
3. 'Refresh' the image list (pink dots will populate the map area if there are images for it)
This is where you find the refresh button when you have chosen the area you are interested in.
Notice the cluster of pink dots in the centre of Umm el-Jimal and that the list of photographs has gone down from around 60,000 to 200 or so in this instance.
4. If there are more images listed than what shows on the thread, click on the arrow to the right to scroll through them.
Click on the arrow to the right of the thread to scroll through available images for this area. Notice the distribution of pink dots has changed to suit those images now showing in the thread.
5. If you click on the pink dot that represents photograph/s georeferenced to that point - the thread of images will highlight those images that correspond to that geographic location. Click on an image thumbnail to view a larger thumbnail, and click on the larger thumbnail to open the image in a new window.
Notice the 'dot' clicked on has a white selection cloud around it and the two images for that location are indicated to the left of the thread - one of which has an expanded thumbnail to allow you a better look.

Note: the map will only show the locations of those images that are visible in the thread, not all the images in the archive. To access all of the images for the viewable area you must scroll through the thread.

We hope this quick tutorial has been helpful. If you would like some clarification, or think we should include something else, please let us know. Likewise, if you have any pointers for us.

More tutorials about how to use our archive are available on our YouTube feed:

Friday 19 July 2013

Conferences: ARAM Decapolis-History and Archaeology 29-31 July

The ARAM Society for Syro-Mesopotamian Studies Conference on The Decapolis: History and Archaeology is held this year at The Oriental Institute, Pusey Lane, Oxford from the 29-31 July and will host a wide variety of speakers including many colleagues and friends.

You may recall from our last blog that David Kennedy spent some time in Princeton last month with the Achaeological Archive of Brünnow and von Domaszewski. If you wish to know more, David will be presenting on Monday, July 29 16:30 on what they did and didn't have to say about the Decapolis cities.

Brünnow and von Domaszewski in the Jordanian Decapolis.
David Kennedy, Monday, July 29 16:30pm Oriental Institute, Pusey Lane Oxford 
(Afternoon session begins at 14:30 and will be chaired by Prof. Amos Kloner of Bar Ilan University. Speakers include Dr. Kenneth Lönnqvist (University of Helsinki), Dr. Steven Bourke (Sydney University), and Prof. Ben Zion Rosenfeld (Bar Ilan University)).
Abstract: The publication by the two great German scholars of their magisterial Die Provincia Arabia (1904-9) was a landmark in research on Roman Arabia. It remains a marvellous source for an archaeological landscape now transformed by development and a testimony to energy in the field and superb research. Nevertheless, it was never a comprehensive review of the evidence with considerable weight being given to the Hauran and to Petra. The lands in between were treated unevenly and the region encompassed by of the Decapolis cities of Philadelphia, Gerasa, Pella and Gadara were relatively neglected. Research today needs to appreciate both the limitations of the publications of the German scholars and investigate for themselves the rich reports of 19th century travellers in the region. Many of the latter were know to the Germans; others have only come to light in recent years as libraries and archives are digitised and easily accessible.

The ARAM website is not yet updated but you can find out more information by contacting them at
ARAM, the Oriental Institute, Oxford University, Pusey Lane, Oxford OX1 2LE, England.
Tel. 01865-514041 Fax. 01865-516824. Email:

According to information provided by ARAM, the Conference fee is £50 and can be made in person upon arrival at the venue on Monday morning. We hope to see you there.

Thursday 18 July 2013

Since last we met...

You last heard from us in Berlin where four of our team were giving papers at ICHAJ 12 - well, things have not slowed down.

David Kennedy took a direct flight to Oxford where he spent four weeks before leaving to research in Princeton University for a month. Here are held the archaeological archives of Brünnow and Domaszewski authors of Die Provincia Arabia, one of the foremost early works on the archaeological record of the former Roman province of Arabia - well worth burrowing into if you have the chance. You can read about the archive here:

Hardly was David back in Oxford from Princeton before he was off to Aston University, Birmingham for four days for a conference held by ASTENE - the Association for the Study of Travellers to Egypt and the Near East.

Two presentations were given by the APAAME team: David presented 'More journeys and travellers to Petra, 1812-1914', and Don presented 'The relative contributions of William John Bankes and Charles Barry to the early plans of Gerasa/Jarash (Jordan): evidence from the Bankes and Barry archives'. You can find the conference abstracts and program at ASTENE:

We learned a lot from the conference, and as ever, made useful contacts. The audience included team member Francesca Radcliffe, and an old acquaintance in Nicholas Stanley-Price whom David last met in Jerusalem in 1976 when he was staying at the British School (of which he was then Assistant Director).

David is now back in Oxford and has been joined by Rebecca.