Thursday, 27 November 2014

Thursday - back to some old sites and a 'train' ride

Yesterday was our last proper digging day of this season, and in fact of the project. Today we had the opportunity to have a ride along the Hijaz railway from Ma'an down to Wadi Rutm on a small boxy train, giving a real feel for the experience the Ottomans would have had when doing the same journey through this landscape almost 100 years ago. 

The logistics meant that we had to split the group so that half went in one direction, south down the line, while the other half waited at the far station to do the return trip. 

In the meantime those not on the train travelled to some of our more impressive previously investigated sites for a final time. In particular, the large, complex encampment near the original Batn Al Ghul station at the top of the escarpment leading down into Southern Jordan and the more sandy desert,  and secondly the spectacular hill-top fort at Fassuah Ridge with it's breathtaking views into Batn Al Ghul itself.

At the turn around point sadly one of the trains was derailed whilst reversing the direction of the driving cabin. 

Consequently only one made it back, and this one didn't have the capacity to take everyone. Some of us were happy enough to remain, wander and chat in one of our most inspiring project locations.

The weather today was beautiful, albeit a bit chilly in the wind, for this really fitting opportunity to say goodbye to these iconic, stunning locations.

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