Courtesy Palestine Exploration Fund

Unbearable working conditions drove Petrie from the site in southern Palestine after only six weeks in 1890. Despite the brevity of his season, Petrie, working with the fellahin, or local peasants, discovered at Tell el-Hesi the relation between the succession of strata and the dating of archaeological finds. Petrie paid his workers, whom he described as “ne’er-do-well, quarrelsome loungers,” by the number of objects they uncovered. Although this method required little supervision, it encouraged speed over carefulness.