|Landscape of the Wadi Araba, north of Aqaba. David Kennedy, APAAME_20160918_DLK-0399.|
|Wadi an Nasifah. Robert Bewley, APAAME_20160919_RHB-0117.|
|A village on the southern edge of the Ras en-Naqb. Robert Bewley, APAAME_20160919_RHB-0161.|
|A large 'Bulls-eye' cairn with tail, known also as a 'Pendant'. Robert Bewley, APAAME_20160922_RHB-0538.|
|Concentration of features on the summit of 'Tell el-Ghusein'. Robert Bewley, APAAME_20160922_RHB-0604.|
|Our GPS reading -194 feet below mean sea level.|
|View of the Rift Valley. Rebecca Banks, APAAME_20160927_REB-0072.|
We are now using a different helicopter, no longer the Huey, but now the Eurocopter or ‘EC’. This has meant getting to know a new squadron, and new pilots. Each day it is a new crew. Sitting having tea after one sortie, high up in the control tower of one of airbases the Captain unexpectedly asked me, slightly reluctantly, “Why are you doing this work?” Behind the question (given a certain lack of interest up to that point) was the inference “it seems to be a complete waste of time.” I explained our reasons, - discovering sites, monitoring change and damage, and making a photographic record. On the next sortie he was able to the see sites in a new light and his orbiting was much more precise. Unfortunately we had another 4 hours of flying and by the end of it the crew were exhausted (as were we) and any positive feelings to archaeology were forgotten for the day.
We have had enthusiastic crew members taking pictures out of the window of archaeological sites and the beautiful Jordanian landscape (and maybe their home villages), but also unexpectedly many, many photographs on the ground, including “selfies.” I am not an enthusiast of the “selfie” phenomenon. I have been surprised by the sophistication of the “selfie world” with extending selfie sticks, the use of sun and shade, and location: a selfie with the helicopter in the background must clearly carry some weight in the purpose for which these photographs are taken (if indeed there is one). Who knows, one day we might even have a selfie album on APAAME, but I hope not.
|The dreaded 'selfie stick'.|
Less than a week to go, so let us hope for less of the unexpected.
28th September 2016