A History of Aerial Photography and Archaeology: Mata Hari's Glass Eye and Other Stories
By: Martyn Barber (author)Hardback
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This book was inspired by a centenary marking the first aerial photographs of an archaeological monument in Britain. Those photographs are inevitably of Stonehenge. How a single balloon flight and the resulting photographs fit into the context of the history of aerial photography is revealed in this fascinating new book. The main emphasis is on how aerial photography came to be such an important tool for archaeologists over the last 100 years. However, the beginnings and development of aerial photography within military and civilian contexts are explored in depth, especially the contribution of pioneering aeronauts and aviators such as Samuel Cody who designed man-lifting kites and J L B Templer who was crucial to the development of military ballooning. During the First World War the true potential of aerial photography as a reconnaissance technique was realised. The Second World War saw even greater resources invested in aerial photography and the training of skilled specialist staff to interpret the millions of photographs taken from aircraft.
Nevertheless, after the First World War it was realised how something that had developed within the context of warfare could serve non-military uses, including archaeology. Between the wars, aerial photography had a considerable impact on our understanding of the past, particularly once the significance and extent of cropmarks became apparent - the airborne camera could record sites and landscapes that were often invisible from the ground. As examples of recent and current archaeological work are explored, it becomes apparent just how far we have progressed in the use of aerial photography to record and interpret past landscapes. The book includes nearly 200 colour and black and white photographs, ranging from images of early balloon exploits and intriguing photographs from the Boer War to reconnaissance views from the World Wars and modern aerial shots of archaeological sites.
Martyn Barber is a Senior Investigator, Aerial Survey & Investigation at English Heritage. He is the author of Bronze and the Bronze Age (2003), and co-author of The Neolithic Flint Mines of England (1999) and The Creation of Monuments (2001).
Acknowledgements Picture Credits 1. '...summer scenes of fairy-land...': Archaeology and the aerial view 2. '...interesting as curiosities...': The Stonehenge photographs and the Royal Engineers 3. 'Quick! The Kodak!': Victorian and Edwardian aeronauts and aerial photographers 4. '...a diary of German doings': Aerial photography and the First World War 5. '...the rough edges disappear': The first archaeological discoveries from the air 6. '...the allurement of strangeness': Aerial archaeology takes off 7. 'an easy...war of "women's work"': Air photo intelligence and the Second World War 8. 'The endless Variety of Objects': Aerial photography into the 21st century Notes Further information and bibliography Index
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- ID: 9781848020368
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