Spying on Antiquity: Declassified US Intelligence Satellite Imagery and Near Eastern Archaeology
Sponsored by AIA-New York Society and Institute for the Study of the Ancient World (NYU)
Monday, October 23, 2017 - 6:00pm

Institute for the Study of the Ancient World (ISAW)
15 East 84th St. 10028
United States

Lecture by Dr. Jason Ur, Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Center for Geographic Analysis at Harvard University followed by a reception at 7pm.

Lecture abstract:
In 1995, President Clinton declassified 800,000 photographs from CORONA, the United States' first spy satellite program, in order to make them available for environmental and historical research. Since then, imagery from the U2 aerial missions and from HEXAGON, the CORONA successor, have been declassified as well. Archaeologists working in the Near East have been quick to embrace these newly available resource, which capture images of sites and landscapes in the 1960's. Many of these landscapes have been damaged or destroyed in the intervening 40 years. This presentation will discuss how CORONA imagery has been used to study ancient landscapes in the Near East, with case studies from Bronze Age Syria, Iron Age northern Iraq, and late Antique northwestern Iran.

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