Aerial archaeology and remote sensing in the Middle East

12 January 2022

There has been a long tradition of aerial reconnaissance for archaeology in the Middle East. This webinar will provide, in a historical context, the current importance of using remote sensing for the discovery and monitoring the condition of archaeological sites under threat across the Middle East. The pace of change is now so rapid that there is a crisis for the cultural heritage of the region. This paper will discuss the main agents of damage and destruction. Finally, it will look forward to possible solutions and opportunities for raising awareness and increasing the understanding of the region’s important archaeological sites.

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About the speaker: 

Robert (Bob) Bewley is Chair of the CBRL Board and the Co-founder and former Director of the Endangered Archaeology in the Middle East and North Africa project (from 2015-2020) at the University of Oxford. He is the Director of the Aerial Archaeology in Jordan project, founded in 1998, and in 2018 was able to set up the Aerial Archaeology in Oman project.

Formerly Director of Operations at the Heritage Lottery Fund, and Head of Survey and Aerial Survey at English Heritage (and before that the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England), Bob has worked in Britain, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa on aerial and field surveys, excavations and aerial archaeology training workshops. He is an Honorary Visiting Professor at the Institute of Archaeology, UCL, London and a Trustee for the International Association for the Study of Arabia and the Anglo-Jordanian Society. He is Vice-Chair of the Mary Rose Trust.

Bob received his PhD in Archaeology from the University of Cambridge and was an undergraduate at Manchester University studying Ancient History and Archaeology. He is the author of six books, including Prehistoric Settlements (1994 and 2003), Aerial Archaeology – Developing Future Practice (2002 with W. Raçzkowski) and Ancient Jordan from the Air (2004 with David Kennedy).