Courtesy of the Matson Collection, Episcopal Home

A whip awaits shufflers at Beth-Shemesh, where a foreman, dressed in white left of center, keeps workers in line. This precursor to modern quality-control programs kept many early digs running smoothly. Sir William Flinders Petrie observed at Tell el-Hesi that strategically placed overseers, such as the suited man on the hill, could weed out laggards by spying—sometimes with telescopes—into workers’ baskets to ensure that no one snuck by with a light load.