Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar''s (VCUQatar) project titled ''Visualizing Qatar''s Past'' has been awarded a US $400,000 National Priorities Research Program (NPRP) grant by Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF). The project, a collaboration between VCUQatar, the University of Wales Trinity Saint David and the Qatar Museums Authority, proposes to build a visual record of Qatar''s archaeological and heritage sites and develop new methods of recording and analysis based on the use of UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) photography, the University said in a media statement Saturday. The project will be led by Director of Research in Islamic Archaeology at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Dr. Andrew Petersen and Assistant Professor/Media Technology Co-ordinator at VCUQatar Diane Derr with other members of the team including Daniel Jones from Trinity Saint David, Faisal Abdulla Al Naimi, head of Antiquities at Qatar Museums Authority and Murtada Kodi also from QMA. "This is an amazing opportunity," said Dr. Petersen. "The grant will be transformational for the way we carry put archaeological fieldwork. There have been many different techniques for taking overhead views of archaeological sites, this is the first method that is both accurate and reliable and that can be employed at virtually any time." This grant puts Qatar at the forefront of archaeological imaging. A number of institutions in Europe and North America have bought this technology for use in environmental monitoring but only a few have considered their applications in archaeology and this is certainly their first deployment in the Middle East. "Instead of relying on satellite images or expensive aerial photography we will be able to search for new sites, investigate known sites and monitor national historic buildings whenever it is required," he added.