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H 290 x W 205 mm

324 pages

705 figures (colour, black & white, and sepia)

Published Apr 2023

Archaeopress Archaeology


Paperback: 9781803274553

Digital: 9781803274560

DOI 10.32028/9781803274553

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Mesopotamia, Syria and Transjordan in the Archibald Creswell Photograph Collection of the Biblioteca Berenson

By Stefano Anastasio

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Keppel Archibald Cameron Creswell (1879-1974) developed an early interest in Islamic architecture, considering photography as an essential tool for recording architectural artefacts. This volume presents the photographs that concern Mesopotamia, Syria and Jordan, kept today at the Biblioteca Berenson in Florence.



A martyr for Islamic architectural history, by Spyros Koulouris ;
Processing the photo archive ;
Archival descriptions ;
Studying the past – working for the future ;

Introduction ;

Creswell and the Berenson Collection ;
Biographical sketch ;
Creswell photographer: the working method ;
Creswell’s legacy of photographs ;
Creswell’s collection at the Biblioteca Berenson ;

Mesopotamia, Syria and Transjordan in Creswell’s photographs ;
Mesopotamia, Syria and Transjordan at the end of World War I ;
Photographers in Mesopotamia, Syria and Transjordan prior to Creswell’s work ;

The sites and the monuments ;
Mesopotamia ;
Birecik ;
Harran ;
Samarra ;
Qantarat Harba ;
Baghdad ;
Al-Madain – Taq Kisra ;
Al-Ukhaidir ;

Syria ;
Ancient churches of Northern Syria: Qalat Siman, Qalb Lawzah and Ruweiha ;
Aleppo ;
Masyaf ;
Hama ;
Homs ;
Damascus ;

Transjordan ;
Amman ;
Iraq al-Amir ;
Qusayr Amra ;

Conclusions ;

Appendixes ;
1. Register of photographers in Mesopotamia, Syria and Transjordan between the 1840s and the 1930s ;
2. Register of Creswell’s photographs of the Biblioteca Berenson ;
3. Synopsis of Creswell’s photographs in the different archives ;
4. Sites and monuments geolocation, by Francesco Saliola (Free online resource ) ;

Bibliographic references ;

Arabic Summary

About the Author

Stefano Anastasio is an archaeologist, specializing in the Ancient Near East. He is currently storehouse-keeper of the archaeological deposits and in charge of the digitization of the archaeological photo-archive of the Superintendency of Florence. He has participated in archaeological excavations and surveys in Italy, Syria, Turkey and Jordan. His main research interests are the history of early photography in the Near East, building archaeology, and the Iron Age in Mesopotamia and the Levant.