Great War Archaeology Group: GARP dig Jordan


Relections on 2007

It is only when you take a step back from what you've been doing that you realise the enormity of the task you've successfully undertaken. Without blowing too many trumpets too loudly (Blackadder Goes Forth: "You could have at least let me know you had a trumpet!"), I think GARP 2007 was astounding. Here's why.

After a long check-in, long flight and even longer journey through the night to reach digs in Wadi Mousa outside of Petra, everyone got up, showered in cold water, ate strange breakfast food, and, just got on with it. That was to be the mantra of the dig: its not always, in fact its never easy excavating in the desert close to the Saudi border, but we get on with it. We have a job to do. Hostile climate, food we love but doesn't always love our tummies; aliens in a land that could not be more welcoming.

Yet, always, always, every day is wonderful. Different. But still wonderful. You may not believe that, but you have to see it. See where we work. (Neil sat writing one evening as the sun was setting. It was within the valley of Batn Al Ghoul/Wadi Rutm. He had his back supported by age old rocks. All the team had retired to the bus. Just him and me, and he squinted through the sunlight and said: "This is my favourite place on earth." My reply, whilst nodding, "Its ours." We spent minutes then in silence. Nothing to add.) Sheer magic.

To go back: why GARP 2007 was astounding. The finds blew our minds. Not just buttons and bullets but...I'll let our excellent head of detectoring tell you...

Thank you Jules and your long-sweating team of Roger (Australian-hat-Ward) and David L (we never thought you could run after an assailant quite like that mr. underwriter);

The colonial connection: Bulldog Bill and Canadian John;

The ladies with their (drawing) toys: Lisa, Anna and Odette;

The gorgeous fools who returned and worked, and complained, and worked even harder: Susannah, Ian x2, Eg. David, Guy of Gisbourne, Angie of Zep fame, Susan (did EH prepare you for this?)

Our Jordanian colleagues without whom... Hani, Zeyad, Jihad, Mansour, Ali, and the "shi-man" Mr. Salah Ahmad. And Joseph who opened the odd beer for us at the Petra Palace bar.

And you lot. You don't need names. Just the truth. You made it all possible. Photographer (A). Drawn Record goddess(F). GPS dude(J). Skunk (aka Cat) Nick The OM, changed to The O'N David H. Thank you. Here's to 2008 and the best dig in the....... david T.

David Thorpe
GWAG/GARP 2007 Excavation Director.

2007 dig live blog
2007 dig week 1 mini image gallery
  2007 dig week 2 mini image gallery
2008 Prospectus

GARP website GWAG website

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