An earlier start today with breakfast at 6.00 am to enable us to get away by 7.00. This is because where we are working local circumstances dictate we have to leave the site by 3.00 pm, so in order to gain the maximum working time we were piling into the bus at 6.45 this morning.
Two and a half hours later we reached the site and walked the several hundred yards from where the bus was able to park to where the features lie. Fortunately we have access for a 4x4 vehicle which carries the tools and equipment, together with our personal packs and the much needed supplies of water and food, over to the site.
In our several groups we began. Some excavating, some walking the landscape, some recording and planning areas we have already worked on. We are learning about what went on here and unable to piece the whole thing together at present, so there is much discussion and many theories abound.
This is a very sandy desert location and the landscape has large areas of windblown sand above the hard packed base layer, together with some regions of crusted surface which sinks like crisp snow when walked across.
The detectorists, working in roughly the same area as yesterday, were able to confirm a definite portion of a static firing position, by virtue of finding more expended 303 cartridges along a section of a ridge. It now seems almost certain that an attack took place from this ridge into the small valley below, having found a total of around twenty fired 303's now in a matter of 40 metres or so. This probably represents a much larger number as the terrain where we are digging is sloped and has very large quantities of wind blown sand, sometimes many feet in depth, above the level of the land at the time of the attack.
Elsewhere three of our team began the formal planning of a range of standing buildings to the south east of the site. These are substantial structures and are presently piled high internally with wind blown sand. This involves the accurate identification of structure and materials, the measurement of the dimensions of the buildings and drawing them in detail and in their location. This work is vital as we can never be sure if such buildings will last long in this rapidly developing environment, so we do this to provide a record for future archaeologists and historians as well as contribute towards the knowledge base of our project.
We do not know if these buildings are of the exact period in question, so tomorrow, together with more accurate recording, a team will be tasked with clearing out the sand from one of the buildings to enable further archaeological investigation, which we hope will provide us with insight to their association with the period.