In the 2009 season we visited the large site at Waheida, and concentrated main excavation efforts here on the three hilltop Ottoman redoubts. This season a small party went back to this interesting and puzzling site to begin further investigations of the many hillside rock pattern arrangements.
One other element of the visit today was for more team members to learn to use a sophisticated differential Magellan MobileMapper CX GPS system. This device is currently being loaned to the group and operated by one of the team members, and we hope to purchase a similar unit for further use in the field. In particular it will be used, in combination with Google maps, photographs and detailed on site sketches to produce increasingly accurate plans of the features we discover and uncover in the landscape.
The features at Waheida themselves are large and range across about a kilometre of wadi hill side. Many are indistinct due to natural and inhabitant erosion, but some of the lines are very clear indeed. It is hoped that the systematic GPS record of this site will enable us to better understand what exactly it was being used for.
The site is also home to a small Bedu family, with goats, sheep and camels wandering freely in the wadi. We had to be careful at one point hen the camel feed was dropped near where we were working, and the man with them warned us in very clear terms that when they had finished eating they may get a bit agitated toward us. After a couple of photos we headed to the next feature.
The GPS work here will continue for the next couple of days, and we may come back here again with a larger team form ore systematic excavation, planning and recording of this site.