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  Field Notes From
Syrian Royal Tomb

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Syrian Royal Tomb On AssignmentArrows

View Field Notes
From Photographer


Syrian Royal Tomb On Assignment

View Field Notes
From Author

Karen E. Lange

In most cases these accounts are edited versions of a spoken interview. They have not been researched and may differ from the printed article.

Photographs by Joel Robin  (top) and Brian Strauss


Syrian Royal Tomb On Assignment Photographer Syrian Royal Tomb On Assignment Photographer
Syrian Royal Tomb

Field Notes From Photographer

Best Worst Quirkiest
    This assignment was the most rewarding one in my 25 years of photography. I met Ursula, a German archaeologist, a member of the excavation team, and the woman of my life. We're now living together.

    The burial place was a cave 39 feet (12 meters) underground and only accessible by a wooden ladder. Because the weather outside was cold and rainy, the entrance became very muddy. To enter the cave, everybody had to put on helmets, gloves, and masks for protection against pieces of stone falling from the ceiling. There was also the possible danger of fungus due to about 3,500 years of closed air and humidity in the cave.  Projector lights, the small cave entrance, and humidity made the air heavy and difficult to breathe.

    I had heard about the reputation of Germans as being hardworking, but the archaeological team in Mishrifeh exceeded all my expectations. Regular working hours were from six in the morning to 11 at night, interrupted only by short food breaks, seven days a week. And I had to be there the whole time to photograph all items before removal.


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