End of the Field, But Not the Work…

And so the field part of our 2017 fieldwork draws to a close, as ever characterised by a flurry of activity and a long list of loose ends to be tied up, but overall, a good feeling at having  achieved our field objectives and made some very interesting observations about the artefacts and landscape at Wadi Dabsa – observations which will require a lot of mulling over in the next few months…

Abi investigates tufa stratigraphy exposed downstream in Wadi Dabsa. Photo: R. Inglis.

This week tasks have included:

  • In situ recording of the attributes of artefacts from the new 50 x 60 m grid.
  • Recording of the tufa and sampling for U-series dating and palaeoenvironmental analyses.
  • Recording of the basalt flows and sampling for Ar/Ar dating of landscape evolution linked to the deposition of the flows during volcanic eruptions.
  • Groundtruthing of the observations made through remote sensing to refine this mapping and expand our ability to plan for next season.
Dan at a basalt sampling location

In addition to the scientific programme, the team also travelled to Abha to meet with HRH Prince Faisal Bin Khalid Al Saud, Governor of Asir Province. This was a wonderful chance to thank him and his staff for all the invaluable support they had given our team in Asir, as well as to tell him more about our work in the region, and the importance of Asir in global prehistory.

HRH Prince Faisal bin Khalid Al Saud receives the UK-Saudi team in his Abha offices. Photo: SCTH.

So now with the field behind us, we wave goodbye to Abi and Dan, and head to the cooler, cleaner confines of the Abha museum for a week of post-excavation analysis…

The UK-Saudi team wind up 2017 fieldwork at Wadi Dabsa! Photo: H. Robson.


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