A Letter From Azekah Archaeological Expedition

Blackwater Community School

Azekah Expedition

Ellah valley

Israel

18th June 1928

Dear Màire,

I received your letter yesterday. I’m so sorry to hear about your mother, may her soul rest in peace. The dig is nearly over and I will be home soon, we are so close to finding King Totomak’s tomb, I can almost feel it! It is boiling hot over here, my throat is always parched and the sun has burnt my skin as red as a tomato. Three men were rushed to hospital yesterday suffering from severe sun-stroke. I can’t wait to get home to the luscious rain! I have over 57 midget bites on me and the mosquito net I hang over my bed at night has 100’s of holes in it. It is true what they say about night-time being the winter of the desert, I was shivering in bed last night and I couldn’t get to sleep with the screeches of a vulture, echoing all through the camp. Last Thursday I rode on camel-back to the nearby village of Saskoom, south of the camp. It was market day and dozens of colourful stalls lined the streets, selling silk scarves, bronze trinkets, clay pots and exotic foods like snake intestine…yum! I tasted a Bungba beetle and it made my stomach feel queasy. The market reminded me of how on Sundays we used to buy cupcakes in old man Wickers shop and eat them down by the river. As I rode back to camp, guided by a local, I got stuck right in the heart of a ferocious sandstorm.  I shielded my eyes and mouth with a bandanna and jumped off the camel.  The guide sat the camel down and rapidly made a small shelter with a worn blanket for us to huddle under. The wind whistled violently outside piercing my ears, it was truly terrifying. Once it was over we continued on our journey as if nothing had happened. So weird! I must go; someone is shouting that they have found the Tomb!

Write back soon

Love Joey xx