Break days

Our weekends here are essentially Friday and Saturday, since Sundays are normal workdays just like the rest of the week—heavy, heavy workdays. I’ll go more into what a typical workday as an archaeologist in the field is like some other time. Right now, I just want to talk about our break days this week.

Friday was our day to go exploring some castles in the area. After a little lecture on the Crusades and the forts the Crusaders built around here, we went out on our field trips.

I love being in a place where the definition of “old” is so different than what that word means in the states. At home, “old” refers to the 19th, 18th, and _rarely _the 17th centuries. At that point you’re practically delving into the realm of ancient. Here, however, anything after the 15th century is considered fairly modern. When you say something is “old” you’re at least talking about 1,500, 2,000, or 2,500 year-old structures and artifacts. Sometimes even much older than that.

Shobak Castle

The Crusader castles we visited Friday were the Kerak and the Shobak castles. They were lots of fun to explore. The Shobak castle I had visited with my Jerusalem group two years ago, and it was a little strange to enter rooms I distinctly remember taking pictures in.

Showing off their newly purchased keffiyehs.

Saturday—our second break day—we spent at “Little Petra.” It’s basically a Nabataean complex that is much smaller but comparable to Petra in some ways. It also had plenty of tombs to visit and some breathtaking scenery. The blue of the sky that day made it all that much more beautiful. We visited a neolithic site on the way, which dates to around 10,000 BCE. Now that’s old.

A tomb in Little Petra.