Thursday 15 October 2015

FL20151013 - From Wadi Feinan to Wadi Mujib

We were joined on this trip by Isabelle Reuben, archaeologist and resident of Jordan for many years. We started as early as possible as we had a long transit flight down to the Wadi Feinan, some 80 nm south. The pilot treated us to a low-level fly past of Kerak castle, bathed in the orange glow of the rising sun.
A haze layer had settled over the Wadi Feinan but the light was still good enough for our photography. This is an area which has been well surveyed, by many overseas teams and a number of sites have been excavated too. In this instance, our photography was at the request of the University of California, San Diego Edom Lowlands Regional Archaeology Project.
The site of Feinan through the morning haze.
Sites we hadn’t seen before were also photographed, as was even more evidence of looting.
Looting in the Dead Sea valley east of Mazra'a.
Once again our re-fuelling air base was Al-Jafr and flying from the western fertile plateau it was striking just how quickly the agriculturally successful plains give way to almost completely barren basalt-strewn limestone as we fly east.

We had our first experience of a Jordanian wind farm, and on the return from our pit-stop the pilots decided to fly through middle of the them, rather than divert around, so we were able to capture some close ups of the turbines.
A windfarm.
The day was one of contrasts from long transits to intense photography of sites on the summits of dramatic wadis, and a descent into the margins of the Dead Sea and then up to the relative greenery of the fertile Kerak plateau.
The dramatic location of Gosa/Qosa al Hamra.
It is always good to have another, new, pair of eyes in the helicopter; Isabelle was no exception as she knows the landscape of Jordan so well and sees so much more, including the swarm of butterflies at the bottom of the palm tree outside the squadron building at Al-Jafr.
Butterflies at Al-Jafr.

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