Book of the Week #30
Máté Szabó, Archaeology from Above. Episodes from the History of the Aerial Archaeological Archive of Pécs
Budapest, Archaeolingua, 2016
304 pages with colored and grayscale images
ISBN 978 963 9911 87 1
The development of Hungarian aerial archaeology, a discipline coming of age in the twentieth century, was for a long time impeded by political conditions. In the 1990s, at long last, our planes could finally take off to survey Hungary’s archaeological heritage from the air. A new impetus was given to aerial archaeological prospection and research in Hungary by the generous assistance of Western scholars. The foundations of the Aerial Archaeological Archive of Pécs were laid down by Zsolt Visy’s research on the Hungarian section of the Frontier of the Roman Empire and his use of aerial archaeological methods. The backbone of the collection is made up of the photos taken by Otto Braasch, a former fighter pilot serving in the German Air Force, who after his retirement pursued his passion for aerial archaeology. As a non-invasive research method, aerial archaeology plays a significant role in the detection and assessment of archaeological sites as well as in their survey, monitoring and popularisation. This volume presents the history of the first twenty years of the Aerial Archaeological Archive of Pécs through several hundred previously unpublished photos from the collection and by evoking various episodes of aerial archaeological research in Hungary and Transylvania.