Developing a history of virtual reality (VR) panoramic photography not only in relation to the development of illusion and immersion, but also its content, will allow for a more robust history, so that those who are working within VR panoramic photography are not "reinventing the wheel" and a greater critical discourse may take place as this medium develops. Within a media art history context, past disruptive immersive deliverables include the vue d'optique, panorama and stereoview. Nevertheless, a recurring theme, which ties the content used in these deliverables with VR panoramic photography, is the re-presentation of cultural heritage. Using examples of the re-presentation of Middle Eastern cultural heritage from media art history, this essay explores the following questions: how has the re-presentation of Middle Eastern cultural heritage changed or shifted as these technological disruptors have been introduced and used, and how can one use these past innovations to inform contemporary best practices in cultural heritage preservation, interpretation, and dissemination using VR panoramic photography? The paper will conclude with practical, useful recommendations to inform current and future initiatives in developing artistic projects that use VR panoramic photography for the preservation, interpretation, and dissemination of cultural heritage.