I stand in a paved courtyard. Surrounding me is a cluster of dwellings constructed of mudbrick (or adobe). A discovery like this is not unusual in a region where wood is scarce and temperatures are extreme. What is odd is the way in which the overhead space is closed. Bricks are stacked in concentric circles that rise upwardly from thick stub walls. They culminate in a tiara made of stone that crowns a tiny chimney hole. I marvel. These are tepees of mud, sedentary versions of the pastoralist’s tent.
The mound emerges through the haze.
“There it is!” I shout to my companions. They respond with the kind of noises that men make when they have seen one site too many. They know where this is going.