Soundings must be made at all three mounds. We make a start with Tell Mozan. There is a village there, and with Hamoudi as ambassador we try and obtain workmen. The men are doubtful and suspicious.
"We do not need money," they say. "It has been a good harvest."
For this is a simple, and, I think, consequently a happy part of the world. Food is the only consideration. If the harvest is good, you are rich. For the rest of the year there is leisure and plenty, until the time comes to plough and sow once more.
"A little extra money," says Hamoudi, like the serpent of Eden, "is always welcome."
They answer simply: "But what can we buy with it? We have enough food until the harvest comes again."
And here, alas! the eternal Eve plays her part. Astute Hamoudi baits his hook. They can buy ornaments for their wives.
The wives nod their heads. This digging, they say, is a good thing!
Reluctantly the men consider the idea. ...
Agatha Christie, Come Tell Me How You Live