Monday, June 28, 2010

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.


  1. Anonymous7:58 AM

    Great photos! Thanks for the up date. I see there is no need to worry about Gil. Seems he would be happy to stay in field with you doing weekend excursions for the rest of his days. Can't blame him, snorkeling in the Red Sea and such is good work if you can get it.
    Missing you both, Therese

  2. Anonymous9:01 PM

    GOP's false talking point: Jones Act blocks Gulf help | McClatchy

    Jindal keeps screaming about foreign skimmers but BP is not even using the local boats at all..

    (Rocky Ditcharo, a shrimp dock owner in Buras, La., said many fishermen hired by BP have told him that they often park their boats on the shore while they wait for word on where to go.

    ''They just wait because there's no direction,'' Ditcharo said. He said he believes BP has hired many boat captains ''to show numbers.'')

  3. send picture of what you find