We have often been asked “When will the Aerial Archaeology in Jordan project be finished?”. Despite flying annually in Jordan since 1997, AAJ is far from finished; it is a long-term programme and unique in the region. It has been a series of voyages of discovery as we find new sites every year and we record changes in the landscape, as well as working with other archaeologists in the region, who request aerial reconnaissance over their site or area.
In 2014 we covered a huge area of Jordan, north-south, east-west (limited only by the range of the helicopter or the borders of neighbouring countries).
Our flights are usually predetermined by a list of sites that we have identified (partially thanks to the input of many colleagues working in Jordan) as needing new photography or that have not been photographed before. Flying between these sites we often catch glimpses of other sites, and occasionally these turn out to be something new too! We do an initial check of these ‘new’ sites against historical maps (such as the K737 series 1:50,000 maps) and the MEGA-Jordan database to try and identify the sites. Occasionally, a new site for us appears to be a new discovery- such as the possible Roman Column Quarry from Flight 20141013, which is always exciting and is just the start of a process of investigation and research.
Here is a taste of what is new in our database from this year’s flying:
Two sites near Zarqa we couldn’t believe we hadn’t photographed before were Jneneh and Kh. al-Batrawy.
|Khirbet al-Batrawy - © APAAME_20141012_RHB-0034. Photographer: Robert Bewley.|
|Udhma - © APAAME_20141012_MND-0096. Photographer: Matthew Dalton.|
|Tell el-Hammam - © APAAME_20141028_DLK-0365. Photographer: David Kennedy.|
|Suwwan - ©APAAME_20141028_DLK-0386. Photographer: David Kennedy.|
|Ataruz - © APAAME_20141013_REB-0051. Photographer: Rebecca Banks.|
|Wadi Hamarash Neolithic Site (Site 1) - © APAAME_20141013_REB-0286. Photographer: Rebecca Banks.|
|Mtakalash ar-Rababa - © APAAME_20141013_MND-0507. Photographer: Matthew Dalton.|
|Deir Ain Abata - © APAAME_20141013_REB-0333. Photographer: Rebecca Banks.|
|Building rubble and cistern evident at site 'Amman Village? 1'. © APAAME_20141028_DLK-0282. Photographer: David Kennedy.|
Kh. Titn sites recommended to us by Kristoffer Damgaard.
|Kh. Titn 2 (Large Cluster) - © APAAME_20141020_RHB-0069. Photographer: Robert Bewley.|
|Mlehleb - © APAAME_20141019_DDB-0006. Photographer: Don Boyer.|
|'Tafila Fortlet? 1' - © APAAME_20141019_DDB-0244. Photographer: Don Boyer.|
|Buseira (Busayra) - © APAAME_20141019_RHB-0256. Photographer: Robert Bewley.|
|Mahattat er-Ramla on the Hedjaz Railway. © APAAME_20141020_DLK-0221. Photographer: David Kennedy.|
|Mudawwarra Northern Redoubt - © APAAME_20141020_DDB-0164. Photographer: Don Boyer.|
|A stretch of possible Roman Road near Umm er-Resas. © APAAME_20141013_MND-0244. Photographer: Matthew Dalton.|
|'Sahab Ruin 10' - © APAAME_20141028_TPH-0125. Photographer: Travis Hearn.|
We owe a debt of gratitude to so many but without our funders, especially The Packard Humanities Institute and the Seven Pillars of Wisdom Trust, we would not be able to continue. We are very grateful to our hosts the Council for British Research in the Levant (CBRL) in Amman, and especially Nadja. The Royal Jordanian Air Force and their superb pilots ‘make it happen’ and could not be more helpful, hospitable and safe. David, Bob, Becc, Mat, Travis and Don all made this an exceptional year and we hope for many more.
You can find all of the 2014 Flying Season photographs on our Flickr '2014 Flights' collection page: https://www.flickr.com/photos/apaame/collections/72157646490200724/