First Week At Barqa
We just completed our first week of excavations in the Barqa region of southern Jordan. My team of seven volunteers is working on an Iron Age structure that dates to the late 10th century/9th century BCE. Thus far the best find has been a shard of imported and painted Midianite pottery. It's a one period occupation site so the excavation has been pretty easy, except the floor is hard to find and in one area we blew through it and hit bedrock, which is only about 25 cm below the surface. Other teams are working on a Roman period farmhouse, and digging 1x1 m pits testing for metallurgical pollution over time. It's not an easy excavation. We live in tents, and several times the tents have been blown away due to the high winds. One day the visibility was very limited due to a sandstorm. But we're starting to get into a routine and things are going well. We wake up at 5 AM, eat breakfast, drive to the sites just before 6, and then work until 12:15. We eat lunch at 1:15, and then wash pottery and work on digital recording until dinner about 7 PM. Typically we are all asleep by 9:30. We work six days with two days off. This weekend we were in Aqaba where we went snorkeling in the Red Sea. Next Sunday on the 4th of July we're heading to Petra. Gilgamesh has been doing very well. There are some 19-20 year-old Canadians here that have been very good about taking Gilgamesh under their wings.
Here are two panoramic pictures. The first is of our camp, the second of our excavation site:
Here is a set of pictures on flickr.