James borrell is a conservation scientist and science communicator, with a particular interest in how species adapt to changing climate.

Friday Photo: Making Bricks

On the edge of the Empty Quarter is the ancient city of Shisr, a centuries old spring that provided water for generations of desert travelers. Shisr is also home of the fabled lost city of Ubar, the ‘Atlantis of the Sands’, which doesn’t really make sense to be honest.
Whilst reccying a place to stay near Shisr ahead of the main expedition, we stopped at the single petrol station for a hundred kilometers to refuel. These guys were working away in the mid-day sun making bricks. After watching them work, I asked if I could take a photo. They seemed really chuffed by the idea, and they started to work faster and faster, each guy trying to work faster than the other. I felt bad because it was already approaching 40 degrees. It was surreal watching this archaic machine out in the desert, and ranks of grey bricks drying in the sun.





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