Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Day 7 - Rain and mud on the Arab front

The mud at the Western Front is notorious. The first world war in the middle east is associated with heat, dust and flies.

Today east met west. The skies darkened in the south, a rainstorm rolled over Wuheida, and the GARP team was drenched.

Without shelter and unprepared for the conditions unfolding, everyone was soaked to the skin and freezing cold within minutes. Another first for GARP!

Thick orange mud on boot soles, clothes gently steaming and hair dripping, the team was ferried back to the hotel to recover.

We  learn a lesson: Wuheida is on high ground and receives significant winter rainfall unlike sites on the Hijaz railway further east and south in the true desert. With more bad weather predicted tomorrow the team plans to take a day off from Wuheida and to spend the time working on the Hijaz railway, much further south than Wuheida. Hopefully the weather in that region will be kind to us and we can continue our pioneering work without delay.

Yesterday staff and students from Al Husayn bin Talal university came to visit us in the field to share with us some of the work undertaken this season. Dr Zeyad Al-Salameen, Dr Mansour Shqiarat and archaeology students tried their hands at excavation and metal detecting with enthusiasm. It was great to have the opportunity to share our practices and experience with the local members of the archaeological academic community first hand.

The following selection of images reflects the general work and environment of the project this season to date.

1 comment:

  1. As frustrating as it must be to be rained off when you have such a short time to do what you've planned, I think it gives a more accurate view of just what the fighting forces would have had to put up with. All too often, its quite possible to visit an area and fail to experience the spectrum of weather (and other variables) and looking at the dry, rocky environment portrayed in all of your images, it's a bit of a wake-up to try and imagine "thick, orange mud" instead!