B1512 (8 Jun 1959)


Mission B1512 departed Adana over the Mediterranean toward Aleppo, and then flew over the great bend of the Euphrates River. It turned to the north to fly over Raqqa and up the Balikh River. It banked to the east at the Turkish border to fly along its frontier with Syria.  At Qamishli, the pilot banked to the SE to follow the strategically important road to Mosul. After Mosul, he turned off the camera until crossing the Tigris, and then imaged a stretch of the steppe west of the Tigris River. The mission then captured a transect from the Diyala River in Iraq through the Western Zagros mountains in Iran. The camera was re-engaged for a line between Dezful and the head of the Persian gulf. The mission was planned to fly deep into Saudi Arabia but for unknown reasons the pilot aborted this segment and instead turned toward Basra. Thereafter, the camera remained off across the southern plains of Iraq, except for a brief stretch over the town of Diwaniya, and then for the stretch of Euphrates between Baghdad and Ramadi, and then the Euphrates between Haditha and the Syrian border at Abu Kemal. With the camera off, the pilot flew north to Hassake, where he captured a continuous swath down the Khabur River to Deir az-Zor, Palmyra, Homs, and Damascus. The plane then turned north toward Adana, only turning the camera on for a short transect over Latakya on the Syrian coast.

This mission overflew some of the most important archaeological regions of northern Mesopotamia and western Syria, including several regions that have since been inundated by hydroelectric dam reservoirs. Its usefulness for archaeology is reduced by the dry time of year, and the amount of atmospheric dust.