Friday, 14 November 2008

Day 2 - Ottoman Army emerges from Desert Sand

Excavation of Batn Al Ghoul Ottoman Army Camp has already revealed on the first day spectacular finds. As anticipated, the stone tent rings forming the camp are proving to be rich in the micro debris of everyday military life.

Six teams of three volunteers each excavated a tent ring and discoveries included food debris such as date stones, peach stones, and animal bone; fragments of rope, canvas and military uniform; and such special finds as Ottoman uniform buttons, a playing card, and a bank note.

As work proceeds we hope to build up an intimate picture of the everyday life of Ottoman soldiers engaged on the Arab front of the First World War.

At the fort at Fassouah Ridge overlooking Batn Al Ghul camp another team began a photogrammetric survey of the remains of the Ottoman Officers quarters. This involves placing targets along a stretch of wall and taking a series of overlapping photographs which can later be digitised and turned into a 3 D image. This work will continue for several more days.

Another team explored the area south of the railway line and discovered an avenue made up of two parallel rows of ten tent rings which may well be an extension of the main Ottoman camp. In addition approximately 15 further tent rings were discovered to the west of the avenue of 20.

The most spectacular find of the day was a button inscribed “Garde Imperiale Ottomane”.


Kanani said...

Can you please post photos? This is fascinating!

Anonymous said...

Great report and beautiful photos! I've tried to spot Fassouah Ridge and Batn Al Ghul on Google Earth, but can't find them. What are their geo coordinates, please?



Roger Ward said...

Hi Bob - many thanks for your interest in the project and taking the time to make comment - much appreciated. Unfortunately we are not in a position to give precise location details for our working sites on the project at present for a number of reasons. Firstly the rules under which we are allowed to work in Jordan constrain which information we can reveal and when, and this is subject to ongoing negotiations with the Jordanian Department of Antiquities. Also some of the sites may well be considered for future local heritage/development and need to be protected in that context. We hope that you can understand that we would not wish to contravene the terms and conditions of our remit to work in Jordan in this regard. It is likely that more precise location and other information will be released at a later date, so do keep checking in with the blog(s) for updates, and thanks again.