Succeeding CORONA: Declassified HEXAGON Intelligence Imagery for Archaeological and Historical Research
Emily Hammer, Mackinley FitzPatrick, and Jason Ur. 2022. “Succeeding CORONA: Declassified HEXAGON Intelligence Imagery for Archaeological and Historical Research.” Antiquity, 96, 387, Pp. 679-695. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Click here for an Open Access version of this article.

Over the past 25 years, CORONA satellite imagery has become an integral part of archaeological research, especially for arid, sparsely vegetated regions such as the Middle East. Since 2020, a new archive of satellite imagery gathered by the US spy satellite programme that succeeded CORONA—HEXAGON—has become widely available for download via the United States Geological Survey. This photographic archive has enormous potential for archaeological research. Here, the authors seek to lower the barriers to accessing and using this imagery by detailing the background, technical specifications and history of the HEXAGON archive. Four case studies illustrate the benefits and limitations of HEXAGON imagery for archaeological and historical research in the Middle East and beyond.


Urban Adaptations to Climate Change in Northern Mesopotamia
Jason A. Ur. 2015. “Urban Adaptations to Climate Change in Northern Mesopotamia.” In Climate and Ancient Societies, edited by Susanne Kerner, Rachael Dann, and Pernille Bangsgaard Jensen, Pp. 69-95. Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press. ur_2015_climate_and_anc_societies.pdf
Jason A Ur. 2012. “Spatial Scale and Urban Evolution at Tell Brak and Hamoukar at the End of the 3rd Millennium BC.” In Looking North: The Socio-Economic Dynamics of the Northern Mesopotamian and Anatolian Regions during the Late Third and Early Second Millennium BC, edited by Nicola Laneri, Peter Pfälzner, and Stefano Valentini, Pp. 25-35. Tübingen University.Abstract
Jason A Ur and Carlo Colantoni. 2010. “The Cycle of Production, Preparation, and Consumption in a Northern Mesopotamian City.” In Inside Ancient Kitchens: New Directions in the Study of Daily Meals and Feasts, edited by Elizabeth Klarich, Pp. 55-82. Boulder: University Press of Colorado.Abstract
Jason A Ur. 2010. “Cycles of Civilization in Northern Mesopotamia, 4400-2000 BC.” Journal of Archaeological Research, 18, Pp. 387-431.Abstract
Jason A Ur. 2010. “Landscapes of Settlement and Movement in Northeastern Syria”. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Urbanism and Cultural Landscapes in Northeastern Syria: The Tell Hamoukar Survey, 1999-2001
Jason A. Ur. 2010. Urbanism and Cultural Landscapes in Northeastern Syria: The Tell Hamoukar Survey, 1999-2001. Chicago: University of Chicago Oriental Institute. Open Access Publisher's VersionAbstract

Tell Hamoukar is one of the largest Bronze Age sites in northern Mesopotamia. The present volume presents the results of three seasons of field survey and remote-sensing analysis at the site and its region. These studies were undertaken to address questions of urban origins, land use, and demographic trends through time. Site descriptions and settlement histories are presented for Hamoukar and fifty-nine other sites in its immediate hinterland over the last 8,000 years. The project paid close attention to the "off-site" landscape between sites and considered aspects of agricultural practices, land tenure, and patterns of movement. For each phase of occupation, the patterns of settlement and land use are contextualized within larger patterns of Mesopotamian history, with particular attention to the proto-urban fifth millennium B.C., the Uruk Expansion of the fourth millennium BC, the height of urbanism in the late third millennium, the impact of the Assyrian empire in the early first millennium BC, and the Abbasid landscape of the late first millennium AD.

The volume also includes a description of the unparalleled landscape of tracks in the Upper Khabur basin of Hassake province, northeastern Syria. Through analysis of CORONA satellite photographs, over 6,000 kilometers of premodern trackways were identified and mapped, mostly dating to the late third millennium and early Islamic periods. This area of northern Mesopotamia is thus one of the best-preserved ancient landscapes of movement in the world.

The volume's appendices describe the sixty sites, their surface assemblages, and the survey's ceramic typology.

Jason A Ur. 2009. “Emergent Landscapes of Movement in Early Bronze Age Northern Mesopotamia.” In Landscapes of Movement: Paths, Trails, and Roads in Anthropological Perspective, edited by James E Snead, Clark Erickson, and Andrew W Darling, Pp. 180-203. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Museum Press.Abstract
T.J. Wilkinson, Jason A. Ur, and Jesse Casana. 2004. “From Nucleation to Dispersal: Trends in Settlement Pattern in the Northern Fertile Crescent.” In Side-by-Side Survey: Comparative Regional Studies in the Mediterranean World, edited by John Cherry and Susan Alcock, Pp. 198-205. Oxford: Oxbow Books.Abstract
Jason A Ur. 2004. “Urbanism and Society in the Third Millennium Upper Khabur Basin.” Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations.Abstract
Jason A Ur. 2004. “المسح الاثري و دراسات المشهد الطبيعي في منطقة تل حموكار 1999- 2000.” Les Annales Archéologiques Arabes Syrienne, 47-48, Pp. 9-21 (Arabic section).Abstract
Jason A Ur. 2002. “The Collapse of an Early Urban Center in Northern Mesopotamia: The Case of Tell Hamoukar.” American Schools of Oriental Research Newsletter, 52, Pp. 8-9.Abstract
Jason A Ur. 2002. “Settlement and Landscape in Northern Mesopotamia: The Tell Hamoukar Survey 2000-2001.” Akkadica, 123, Pp. 57-88.Abstract
Jason A Ur. 2002. “Surface Collection and Offsite Studies at Tell Hamoukar, 1999.” Iraq, 64, Pp. 15-44.Abstract