Translated by Michael D. Coogan.


On two occasions during our excavations before 1939, we had to release our workers, who had been called [back to their villages] to dig ditches [to capture the locusts] in the fields in the vicinity of Ras Shamra. Millions of young locusts crawled on the ground [into the ditches where they were then burned]. The mature insects flew over Minet el-Beida and Ras Shamra in thick clouds which darkened the sky.


During my many visits and trips to countries which are still frequently subject to earthquakes, especially Anatolia, I have seen how aware the populace is of the danger of seismic tremors. One night while I was at the French Institute of Archaeology in Istanbul, after 1946, I felt the building shake slightly; the next day I learned that the residents in the neighborhood had left their houses and camped in the streets and yards until the minor quake had stopped. Once in Ankara, after my excavations at Arslan Tepe-Malatya, I gave a lunch for the Turkish archaeological officials, with the French ambassador, M. Maugras, present. During the meal I noticed the proprietor of the restaurant come into the dining room and discreetly watch the chandelier, which was swaying slightly. My Turkish guests did the same, without revealing their concern. Afterwards the proprietor explained to me that if the swaying had intensified we would have had to leave the room.