Washington University Special Collections, courtesy of David Hanlon

Butler photographed a portion of the colonnaded atrium of this first- or second-century A.D. palace in the town of Kanawat, in southern Syria. Kanawat was one of the cities of the Roman Decapolis (or league of ten cities). In Ancient Architecture in Syria (1915), he wrote of the ancient city’s “splendid outlook to the north and west, and its beauty greatly enhanced by the abundance of trees and shrubbery which are now so very rare in this part of Syria. It is one of the few places in the Hauran where the black, gaunt ruins of walls and columns, veiled here and there with grey mosses, rise out of a setting of greenery.” (Today, the view captured by Butler looks very different: Only the short column shafts remain visible; the rest of the arcade is gone.)