Video clips section
The elements

July 2014 - Laerke Recht & Rick Hauser
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The Elements**
VC01–VC03, VC07–VC08, VC23

A number of videos* related to the weather and to its impact on the excavation site. A description of each follows:

Sandstorm over the Excavations

     A sandstorm blows over the Temple Terrace, seen from outside the excavation area, just north of J5. The camera pans over the excavations, and it includes the Temple at the top. The scene becomes progressively darker, and at the end the camera is engulfed in the whirling dust. The only sound is the deafening howling of the wind.

Sandstorm Approaching the Expedition House

     A sandstorm approaches the Expedition House from the south. The workmen have been called off, and are rushing with their tools to the shelter. A high cloud (a visible manifestation of what we call “wind”) moves at great speed and makes it difficult to even stand up straight.

In the Eye of the Storm by the Expedition House

     Dust accumulations grow fast in open areas but even inside houses. The depth of this fresh accumulation next to the wall visible in the foreground was about 1 cm. after the dust storm subsided.
     This fact is of particular interest for those who excavate—think how quickly a given artifact (or floor) can be covered—hidden to “history”!

Rainwater Eddy in C2

     Winter rains can be so strong that they cause veritable streams to form on the surface of the tell (the so-called wadis). The intensity and velocity of the water is surprising, and it explains some of the features we find in the excavations, for instance the channels in J5 and the erosion in J2. These events cut through features, often to the frustration and dismay of those excavating.
     The scene is south of J7, and when the camera pans to follow the water stream, the view is towards the south of the Tell.

In the Eye of the Storm by J5

     We are in the eye of the sandstorm (VC1–VC3). The wind howls as it skims over the surface of the Tell, moving dust at great velocity. Several workmen have difficulty standing up and lay down on the ground!
     The abrasive force of the wind is well-documented here, and its impact on opposing vertical surfaces (walls and sections) can easily be gauged. We wonder at the force, but encounter daily its palpable impact on surfaces that we excavate.


     The water simply pours over the surface of the Tell, emptying into the village to the West. How it may sculpt surfaces that we take to be “pristine” or “intact” as we excavate is very much worth considering.

* The term “video” is used here instead of “film”, as these sequences are raw unedited footage (as the term is taken customarily to mean).

** Do note the “links” in each section. They provide either more information about the event or related information that may be helpful in interpretation. It is rare that such occurrences are documented with live footage; thus the importance of these links.

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