What in the World – Spring 1959

Originally Published in 1959

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Can you identify the subject of this photograph? Answer on page 40.

Did you recognize these sand dunes in the Libyan desert? Or were you as far off in your identification as those of us who suggested elephant foot prints, or a bucket of wet plaster, or a corroded bronze plaque enlarged a hundred times?

We are indebted to the Aero Service Corporation of Philadelphia for this photograph which they took from an altitude of 31,680 feet with a special camera equipped with a six-inch lens. The dunes range in height from 300 to 600 feet. This eighty-mile area lies about 200 miles southwest of tile Sebha Oasis on the edge of the Rocky Desert.

The Aero Service Corporation made this photograph during a recent photo-mapping and geophysical survey for two major oil companies, who use such photos for reconnaissance purposes. Today, aerial photography is also playing an important part in archaeological work, both in locating sites and in obtaining an over-all picture of how they were laid out. Such a picture of Hasanlu in Iran appears on page 5.

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"What in the World – Spring 1959." Expedition Magazine 1, no. 3 (May, 1959): -. Accessed April 18, 2024. https://www.penn.museum/sites/expedition/what-in-the-world-spring-1959/

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