We had a very ambitious trip planned to circumnavigate the Badia region, the Panhandle, or what I like to refer to as the “black basalt desert’. The furthest point of our flight is the air base at Ruweishid, some 116 nm from Amman; a place we have come to grudgingly love over the years.
The trip involved three re-fuellings and well over the 70 sites scheduled were photographed; the pilots were two of the best in that we flew higher than is normal (as most helicopter pilot like to fly low) and responded perfectly to our needs, orbiting the sites as directed.
We started the day photographing a site that we had been informed was targeted in what can only be described as a mindless act - a huge scoop taken out of the side of Qasr Mushash by heavy machinery. This is a site we have photographed many times, and seeing it so altered after surviving so many years at the mercy of the elements (it is directly alongside a wadi) is such a shame. We are informed that the Department of Antiquities has been informed of the damage and we hope the site is successfully stabilised.
|Qasr Mushash, with the offending gouge clearly evident.|
|A cluster of 'Ghurra Huts' in the landscape.|
|The fortified 'hill fort'.|
|Two kites flanking and using the geology of the basalt landscape.|
Even though our day was long, we had intended to photograph further sites in the south of the Panhandle for the Jebel Qurma Project, but sadly this could not be achieved. There is always next season, إن شاء الله (Insha'Allah).
|The flight team for FL20151011.|