Banner 2013

Banner 2013

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Day 1 - A new site in the far southern Jordanian desert

We boarded the bus at 7.15 this morning to head off down the main arterial road south out of Wadi Musa. Our destination represented the furthest we have ever travelled to dig for this project, being a few kilometres further away even than last year's site at Mudawarra.

This meant a bus journey of around 2.5 hours before we could even begin to look at the site, decide what could be done, and begin working. The highway was fortunately fairly traffic free, and the time soon passed, with old friends catching up and new ones eagerly looking out of the windows to get their first experience of this arid, desert landscape.

Brief stop on the way to Mudawarra

Travelling south
On arrival at the site Neil gave an overview and we split into teams to make preliminary examinations of a few different areas.

Research had indicated that there had been some form of battle in the area we were studying, although as is generally true in all these situations, precise locations are very difficult to confirm for a variety of reasons including miss-remembering by authors of accounts after the event, the passage of time allowing wind and other weather altering the landscape and the activities of military and other human influences. Consequently  we were keen to find evidence supporting the idea that we were in the right place. Fortunately this wasn't long in coming, with around 10 spent 303 cartridges turning up along a ridge, together with a clip for the same weapon, and an incoming round fragment fired back at those who had let loose the 303's. 

Walking across the desert landscape to the site

First day briefing

Site landscape

Mark VI 303 cartridge case with trowel and detector

So - we are in the right sort of area at least. We will continue with our investigations here tomorrow,  hopefully uncovering more pieces of this little part of the jigsaw.

Today was hot. Very hot - in fact in the 7 years I have been associated with GARP this must be one of the two hottest days I can remember. With no local shade, almost no breeze or clouds and the sand reflecting the sun it was a challenging and harsh environment for us all to work in. We drank many litres of water but the conditions took their toll and I for one found it very difficult today. We were very pleased to complete the long walk across the desert back to the bus, and then take the opportunity to recover a bit in the long journey home. I'm not sure what the forecast is for tomorrow. I secretly yearn for an overcast sky with light drizzle. 

Images today include some from the bus travelling to and from the site, showing the desolation and scale of the desert landscape.

1 comment:

  1. Amazing scenery and what a find! Stay cool and drink lots of fluids!