Fifa, Jordan

Austin (Chad) Hill, launching a quadcopter drone at Fifa, Jordan. Photo by Morag Kersel, courtesy of the Follow the Pots Project.

View of Marj Rabba Excavation areas captured by the fixed-wing drone

Marj Rabba is a single period Chalcolithic site dating to approximately 4600–3700 BC when copper was first smelted in the southern Levant. Located in the a Galilee of Israel, the site was excavated between 2009 and 2014 as part of The Oriental Institute’s Galilee Prehistory Project, which is dedicated to investigating the Chalcolithic in this area. Image courtesy of the Galilee Prehistory Project. Photo by Austin (Chad) Hill, courtesy of the Galilee Prehistory Project.

Aerial photograph of Rujm el-Hiri

Rujm el-Hiri (Arabic for “the stone heap of the wild cat”), is an enigmatic construction on the Golan Heights, possibly dated to the Chalcolithic or Early Bronze Age (c. 4500–2000 BC). Although probably a ritual structure, it is unclear whether it was related to astronomical, calendrical, or mortuary purposes. Photo by Austin (Chad) Hill, courtesy of the Galilee Prehistory Project.

November 22nd, 2016 – September 10th, 2017

Lower Level of the Oriental Institute

This photo show explores how aerial perspectives allow archaeologists to detect patterns that may be invisible or unrecognizable from the ground. Kites, fishing poles, ladders, balloons, unpiloted aerial vehicles [UAVs], full-size helicopters and planes, and satellites are all used to produce images that aid in assessing and planning archaeological monuments, sites, and landscapes. The exhibit addresses how recent technological developments, coupled with sophisticated software, are creating new and vibrant opportunities for archaeologists to do more with images from the air. The photos illustrate the use of drones at sites in Jordan and Israel for broad-scale archaeological survey of sites, monitoring of landscape change (including looting), and mapping of excavations.