Friday 2 May 2014

Conference: 9th ICAANE Basel, Switzerland, June 9-13, 2014

Icaane LogoThe 9th biannual International Conference on the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East is coming up in June of this year. The Conference is being hosted by the University of Basel (Kollegiengebäude der Universität Basel)

You can find all the information you need on the conference website:

We will be presenting Kites in Saudi Arabia in the 1st session of the workshop Desert Kites - Archaeological Facts, Distribution and Function.
Abstract: Although it has long been known that Kites were to be found in Saudi Arabia, it is only very recently that the availability of high-resolution imagery on Google Earth and Bing Maps has enabled researchers to identify them far more widely and in greater numbers than previously believed. In particular, imagery for the areas around Khaybar and Al-Hiyat revealed over 200. Now the high-resolution imagery has been extended more widely and a fuller picture can be formed. The Kites are varied in size and shape but many are of a distinctive, angular form not found elsewhere in ‘Arabia’. With an increased data set, greater familiarity with the wide variety of other, probably contemporary, stone-built structures in the region, and with the geological and vegetational environment, there is an opportunity to offer a more detailed analysis and interpretation than previously done by Kennedy and Bishop.

You can download the full list of workshops complete with abstracts here:

Conference: Big Work for Small Planes – Using UAVs and Kites for Archaeology, Berlin, May 23-24, 2014

TOPOI house Dahlem in Berlin will be hosting a symposium organised by the ArchaeoLandscapes Europe Project (ArcLand) and the Berlin Free University Excellence Cluster Topoi on the use of UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) for archaeology and cultural heritage.

The program has been released, you can find it here:

We are looking forward to the presentations and hope to see you there.

Conference: Green Arabia, Oxford April 2-4, 2014
In April 2014, the University of Oxford and Paleodeserts Project hosted an international conference called ‘Green Arabia’. It was sponsored by the Saudi government, launched by HRH Prince Sultan Bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz al-Saud (President of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities, a former air force pilot and Space Shuttle astronaut) and Prof. Ali Ghabban (Director General of the Department of Antiquities). The entire proceedings were under the auspices of a significant recent development, ‘The King Abdullah Heritage Initiative’.

What has this all got to do with Roman or Aerial Archaeology, or Remote Sensing for that matter? Saudi Arabia is huge – over 2 million km2, but its archaeology is barely known to the wider world and the vast majority of its sites are uncatalogued. A large part of the country – the Hedjaz in the northwest, was once part of the Nabataean kingdom and of the Roman province of Arabia (largely modern Jordan). There are superb Nabataean sites in the Hejaz (especially Mada’in Saleh) and there have been important excavations there in recent years. Several Latin inscriptions from the kingdom attest to the Roman presences, especially that from the island of Farasan at the far south of the Red Sea.

The present initiative to open up archaeological research in Saudi Arabia is a welcome development.

You can see the opening remarks by HRH The Prince of Wales and HRH Prince Saltan Bin Salman on the Paleodeserts' website:, where you will also find the conference details and abstracts.