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Friday, May 30, 2008

Flat Tires and the Desert

Greetings all. This is my first post from Jordan and I am sorry it has taken so long for me to get to it. The town of Azraq where we are staying DOES have internet...but it is extremely slow - and we have been very busy since we started digging, so this is the first chance I have had to write in the blog and update you all. I am sorry that I don't have any pictures to upload yet - but hopefully soon.

I am writing this post from the comfort of the CBRL (British Research Institute) in Amman. We are here today (Friday) to do some supplies shopping and bring some project members to the airport. Presently the noon call to prayer is happening - there is a mosque right beside the CBRL and it is very loud.

The first week of excavations have gone well. I have finally finished setting up the excavation grid and establishing benchmarks and reference points. It has been very hot (this morning it was 37 degrees!!! and no wind)...but I have been adapting well.

Our living accomodations are great - we have rented a new house that was just built in Azraq (pictures to come later) and I even have my own room. We also have a cook that is doing all the cooking so its pretty comfortable. The only thing we are missing are some proper couches and chairs...so we are going "Jordan Style" and have put mattresses around a room and we recline on those. Its pretty comfortable...but sometimes getting up is a bit tough after a hard days work.

So - about the flat tires. Over the past week I have had to change 3 flat tires on various vehicles we are using. The most difficult one was when we tried to go out into the middle of the desert (ok, maybe not the middle...but you get the idea) to find a remote archaeological site. Needless to say - we never got to it, we turned around since we had used up our last spare tire. So far no keys have been lost (some of you will get that joke).

Since we have just started excavating, I don't have anything new to report on that front. We begin in ernest on Saturday - so I should have something to say in a few days. First observations of the site is that its pretty amazing the amount of lithics that are scattered all over the place....I mean literally hundreds of thousands of them.

Upon arrival in Amman last Saturday night I preceded to Madaba to pick up some of my equipment that was in storage. I was able to track down my old friend Mashur and he was totally suprised to see me in Jordan...he had no idea that I was coming and was very happy to see me.

Everyone on the project is very nice and we are all getting along quite well. Last night we had a bit of a "party" and sat around exchanging stories. Good fun. I am very tired - getting up at 4am every day and then driving 45 minutes to site is exhausting. I am also disappointed that I have been unable to get any aerial photographs as the wind has not been strong enough - which is a complete suprise. Mother Nature is having a good laugh at my expense.

Have to go shopping in Amman now (allways an adventure) - I'll update with some photos in the near future.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Andrew, I have finally settled in to admire your blog, and I am quite impressed with the variety and the quality of the offerings. If I had a blog, I'd tag you with a tough meme or two, but seeing that I cannot keep up with blogs, let alone maintain one, I'll leave you in peace. (OK, so I won't - I wish you'd post on five books you have read that have influenced you the most. I'm thinking of your Essential Reading post.) So what does your cook make? What sorts of lithics do you see? I hope you get to tame your Jeep Coprolite yet, and tell us lots more news from the desert. - J.

rairair said...

Andrew,
I am happy to see you arrived to your location safe and sound. Reading over your blog I am happy to see that you took along the essentials...no mention of cloths but you made sure not to forget the booze or the mix...good one.
Have a good one and take care,
Jason

sadaf said...

you have to get up at 4am?! that's disgusting.

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