Monday 10 March 2014

Archive: UPenn Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology Film Archives

"The formidable mountains of Arabia Petraea still loomed miles away."

The Film Archives of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology have been digitised and made available online thanks to the generosity of the 'Internet Archive'.

A silent film by Arthur and Kate Tode from 1930 is an interesting glimpse of travel in the Middle East between the wars. There are some stunning views of Petra [4:01] including a rare occurrence of  snowfall [17:05] (apparently the first time it had snowed in Petra in 30 years), footage of the Umayyad Mosque of Damascus [24:02], the Ctesiphon Arch [33:00], the ruins of Babylon [37:14] and Ur [43:00], and also some aerial footage towards the end [50:30].

The Internet Archive site provides a transcript of the silent film's narrative.

You can access the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology Films collection at The Internet Archive here.

You can access the Museum website here:

Tuesday 4 March 2014

Research - KSA 3925-41 - Samhah Kite 35

I have been able to return to some analysis on the many kites in the vicinity of Khaybar in Saudi Arabia today. The good news is that Google Earth has updated imagery in the area, bad news is it looks like some of the kites are a little worse for wear in the face of development. Fortunately we still have the historical imagery to conduct some analysis on the complete site - a bold example of the Kites typical to this region. What is striking in this example is the very straight walls, and numerous hides lined along the pointed extensions of the head. Another feature is the 'barbed' tails of the kite - almost secondary head enclosures connected to the tails close to the head of the kite.
KSA 1:50,000 map square 3925-41 - Samhah Kite 35 on imagery dated 20030106. Click to enlarge.
KSA 1:50,000 map square 3925-41 - Samhah Kite 35 on imagery dated 20121213. Click to enlarge.

Monday 3 March 2014

Workshop: Introduction to Aerial Archaeology Mar 2-4 2014

Introduction to Aerial Archaeology Workshop, in Jordan.
March 2nd to 4th 2014 
at the 
with Dr Robert Bewley and Dr Fawzi Abudanah

We are happy that we are currently holding our first workshop on Aerial Archaeology in Jordan since 2008 through coordination with Dr. Fawzi Abudanah (who joined our workshop in 2007). We are keen to keep the momentum going for training in this specialised subject in Jordan and the greater 'Middle East'. In February 2013 we were invited to hold a workshop on Aerial Archaeology in Qatar, at the invitation of the Institute of Archaeology (part of University College, London's department there) which was very successful. See blogs: 'Qatar Workshop in Aerial Archaeology - Zubara' and guest blog by Włodzimierz Rączkowski.

Students at the Department of Archaeology will be introduced to origins and aims of aerial archaeology, as well as learning about air photo interpretation. They will be given exercises in interpretation and mapping using examples from Jordan, Europe and Britain. The workshop will conclude with a discussion on the application of aerial archaeology in heritage management and its relevance in the Middle East.

Additional thanks must be given to the Palestine Exploration Fund's grant for allowing this to happen and the continual support of the Packhard Humanities Institute for the Aerial Archaeology in Jordan project.