Monday, 7 March 2016

Aerial photography shows off Jordan’s archaeological treasures—and reveals sites at risk

My latest article for The Art Newspaper...

Jarash Circus, Arch Hadrian. Photo: © APAAME
Using military helicopters, the team of the Aerial Photographic Archive for Archaeology in the Middle East have been photographing Jordan’s archaeological sites since 1997. They have built up an archive of over 100,000 images, some of which are now on view at the Royal Geographical Society, London in an exhibition that highlights the country’s rich heritage while also drawing attention to the risks that certain sites now face.

Although taken for research and documentary reasons, the photographs in the show Aerial Archaeology in Jordan and Beyond (until 6 April) beautifully capture the country’s cultural past, from the prehistoric phase through to the Islamic Period. Well-known locations, such as the coastal city of Aqaba and Petra’s rock-hewn architecture, are featured alongside newly discovered sites and images illustrating recent damage and destruction.