Lèja. Vue caractéristiques. Antoine Poidebard, G. David.
Lèja. Vue caractéristiques.
Lèja. Vue caractéristiques.
Lèja. Vue caractéristiques.
Early Aerial Photos of Syria

Lèja. Vue caractéristiques.

[Syria]: around 1927. Side wire stitched brochure. Title in ink on the first leaf. Contains six black and white photographs, mounted on cardboard leaves. Three images are labeled and credited on the negative. 7 leaves. (6 photos; size: ca. 225 × 165 mm). The first leaf is slightly dusted, dented with a small loss at the lower edge. Leaves are wavy at the edges. The photos are in fine condition. Overall in very good condition.

A collection of six early aerial photos of the Al-Lajat region in southern Syria.

This collection of six aerial photographs were taken in the Al-Lajat region in Syria, south of Damascus, and they are presumably related to the archeological examination of the region executed by Antoine Poidebard, with the help of the 39th Aviation Regiment of the French Army of the Levant (39e régiment d’aviation, Armée du Levant).

Antoine Poidebard (1878–1955) was a French archeologist and a pioneer of aerial archeology in the Middle East. He started the aerial observations in Syria in 1925, and by 1932 the desert regions at the borders of the country, from the As-Safa and the Al-Lajat in the south to the Euphrates, over 750 km in length and 100 to 200 km in depth, were entirely explored. His results were published in a two-volume book La trace de Rome dans le désert de Syrie in 1934.

Two of the present images were taken by “Lt. David” who appears to be identical to “G. David” to whom several aerial photographs are credited in Poidebard's book. One of the images is labeled as “Village de Semeid”, presumably it shows the village of Smeid (or Sumayd). An album titled Vues aériennes de Syrie et du Liban / 39e régiment d'aviation [Armée du Levant] (FRBNF40367076) is held at the Bibliothèque nationale de France which is dated to 1926–7 and some of the photos are also credited to G. David. An extensive collection of Poidebard’s photographs is kept at the Oriental Library of the Saint Joseph University in Beirut (Bibliothèque Orientale, Université Saint-Joseph de Beyrouth).

Literature: Denise, F. (ed.): Une aventure archéologique Antoine Poidebard, photographe et aviateu. Marseille: Parenthèse, 2004.

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Price: €12,000.00

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