Workers assist the photographer by holding a Joshua cloth over an excavated area. As the summer sun creates harsh contrasts and washes out color, the creation of a little shade makes for better field photographs.
These tactics test group creativity. Holding the cloth at various angles (depending on the size or contour of the area), strategically using head scarves, jackets, or even a contorted row of bodies to block the sun, can make for some good laughs. Windy days convert the Joshua cloth into a sail and require many hands! Published photographs from a dig never reveal such antics, but believe me, they lurk behind many a "scientific presentation."
Note the north arrow and the scale in the center of the square.
Michèle Daviau of Wilfrid Laurier University (Canada) was director of this 1991 effort at Tell Jawa, Jordan. Michèle is behind the camera on the tripod.
The label "Joshua cloth" is drawn from the story of "the longest day" told in Joshua 10. You can read it here. Look for the prayer found in 10:12-13.