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These aerial photographs from 1938 and 1939 were taken as part of an archaeological survey conducted by Sir Marc Aurel Stein in modern day Syria, Iraq and Jordan. They were captured by or with the assistance of the Royal Air Force, then conducting aerial reconnaissance in the territories under British Mandate. These photographs are held by The British Academy, and shown here with their kind permission. The digitisation of these photographs was made possible by cooperation with the EAMENA (Endangered Archaeology of the Middle East and North Africa) Project (eamena.org/).
The photographs are a fantastic record of sites that have changed drastically over time, including the well known sites of Qasr Azraq, Balad Sinjar and Hatra for example. Stein's particular interest in the Roman Limes means that a large number of circumvallations are also photographed, many of which have never been investigated further and are now almost invisible or erased from the landscape.The photographs have been catalogued according to their noted date and The British Academy reference number. Where known, the sites have been named and georeferenced according to the site depicted. Where a site name discrepancy is known, whether between the photograph information and Stein's report, or with another source, alternatives have been given. Where possible, the hand written notes on the obverse and reverse of the photograph have been included in the image description. Should you know anything further regarding any of the sites depicted, please feel free to share your knowledge and leave a comment on the individual photograph's page. In many cases the sites photographed do not have known individual site names but are referenced according to the identification provided by Stein - for example, as 'Castellum' or 'Post', but these are in no way definitive.
This particular collection of photographs relate to Stein's research of the Roman 'Limes' and many were intended as illustrations of his 'Limes Report'. Stein's 'Limes Report' was posthumously published from the original and typescript manuscripts held at The Bodleian Library in 1985: Shelagh Gregory & David Kennedy 1985 Sir Aurel Stein's 'Limes Report', BAR International Series 272.
This collection is held at The British Academy, britak.co.uk, 10-11 Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1Y 5AH. All image requests and enquiries regarding the collection should be directed to the archivist (firstname.lastname@example.org). The collection also includes notes and plans made by Stein which are not included here.
These images were scanned from the prints using an EPSON Perfection V700 Photo Scanner, April 2015.
For more information regarding the extensive collection of Stein material, please consult the handbook to his collections edited by Helen Wang & John Perkins (2008): www.britishmuseum.org/research/publications/research_publ...