Manar al-Athar Open-Access Photo-Archive

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The Manar al-Athar photo-archive, based at the University of Oxford, provides high resolution, searchable images for teaching, research, publication, and heritage work. These images of archaeological sites, with buildings and art, cover the areas of the former Roman Empire which later came under Islamic rule (such as Syro-Palestine/the Levant, Arabia, Egypt and North Africa), and adjoining regions, such as Armenia and Georgia. The chronological range is from Alexander the Great (i.e. from about 300 BC) through the Islamic period.

The photo-archive is open-access so that it can be freely used by anyone anywhere in the world. Photographs can be freely downloaded as original high-resolution images (tif images) without watermarks, making them immediately available in a format suitable for publication or research, simply by acknowledging the source.

The Manar al-Athar photo-archive in in continuous development. In April 2020, it had more than 70 000 photographs online, and strengths include Late Antiquity (AD 250–750), the period of transition from paganism to Christianity and, in turn, to Islam, especially religious buildings (temples, churches, synagogues, mosques) and monumental art (including floor mosaics), early Islamic art (paintings, mosaics, relief sculpture), as well as Roman and early Islamic (Umayyad) architecture, and iconoclasm.