Friday 16 January

As Fridays are Islamic holidays, volunteers at Pella usually have the day off also and go on outings in the dig bus. This Friday we went to Saladin’s Castle ‘Aljun’, and to the Roman ruins at Jerash.
I discovered early in the dig that mud brick walls are a bit of an archaeologist ‘thing’. On the evening of my first day after replying to a staff’s query about what I had done that day, I told them about my adventures cleaning up a mud brick wall and in return learned a lot in a very short time about how important mud brick walls were, how terrific it was that I had learned to clean one up, and how many archaeologists simply plough straight through them on their way to excavating something else and how wasn’t it a shame that they all too often didn’t regard them highly enough. 
By the end of my first week on the dig I appeared to have succumbed to the mud brick syndrome and was seeing them everywhere. They crept into my dreams at night (weird) , I was seeing them at meal times and in card games, and I was seeing them in 20th century walls and geological strata in the bus on my way to Jerash, until other volunteers sharing the bus with me tactfully suggested that maybe I needed to move on from mud bricks a bit. 
Ashloon and Jerash themselves were delightful, Jerash in particular – lots of curly-wurly stone decorations and moss growing on stone statues.  There’s nothing nicer than poking around an extensive and intact Roman ruin that hasn’t yet been mauled by excessive tourism, and trying long hard and unsuccessfully to get a good photo of a Jordanian climbing plant clinging to the edge of brick awning.

~ by margoforte12 on February 4, 2009.

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