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Transactions of the Symposium on Photo Interpretation

seems to be little room for doubt that here we have indeed the capital towns
of the city-state of La’ash.
During his latest visit to Syria as a member of the Parrot expedition to Mari
in December 1961, Prof. Dossin of the University of Liège saw and translated
a newly discovered votive stone in the Museum in Aleppo. The text revealed
the position of a town called Kahat in antiquity. When I visited Prof. Dossin
in Mari with the photographs of Kahat and surroundings, he was delighted
to hear that the photographs showed not only the traces of an irrigation
system with possibly swamps around the tell, but also one or more large ponds
to the east of it. Not only the swamps have been mentioned in the texts, but
also the ponds, the latter being exactly the place from where king Shamsi-
addu of Assyria ordered a special kind of fish for his table in the nearby capital
Subaat-enlil (also possibly identified by the air photographs). The time of this
episode is 1800 B.C., when the Northern Gezira played an important role in
the history of the Assyrian empire.
These two examples, which could be multiplied by many more of a similar
nature, may give an idea of the wealth of detail the aerial photograph pro
vides in connection with interpretation of the texts and the identification of
localities. And Syria is not the only country where this material is waiting to
be explored. It might be, that in the near future, photo archaeology will prove
to be one of the important branches of archaeology in the Middle East.