Sometimes we find items which are absolutely fixed in the time frame and context of the project. On the basis of a recently obtained photograph some team members went looking for the location of the image. This showed a couple of British armoured vehicles and men parked in the desert, with several strong geographic features in the background. We reckoned it was close to another site where similar vehicles had been known to have stopped and camped, so the search had a good basis to start from.
The four team members wandered around in the approximate location until the photographic features seemed to be in the right position according to our viewpoint. Everything looked spot on. Then the emphasis shifted to try and find some material evidence that in fact these people and vehicles had actually stopped here. After about half an hour of searching, one of our number found this:
Beautifully preserved and even dated to November 1917. It's a C & E Morton Ltd. Meat & Veg Rations tin lid, issued to the British army during WW1 and would have been used and left by the Royal Field Artillery members who accompanied the vehicle in the photograph. (which, incidentally, I hope to be able to post in this blog sometime soon). An excellent corroboration of the location and the presence of these men, early in 1918.
Here are some images of the team hard at work in the field today. Hopefully they give an idea of the place, the climate, the landscape and the atmosphere of the group, as well as the digging and other archaeological activity going on.