Courtesy Dr. Ze’ev Meshel/Israel Exploration Society

BRACED AGAINST THE ELEMENTS. The excavators hoped that an October dig season would allow them to avoid the harshest summer and winter weather. Unfortunately, this was not so—and it only got worse in the subsequent December and May dig seasons. The changing weather, constant buffeting winds, blinding sand and extreme heat made excavations difficult. The conditions sometimes interrupted digging and repeatedly forced the team to move their tent camp from one side of the hill to the other and finally to the wadi bed below.