Add a generous measure of ruins
The ruins were everywhere, fanning out around the Stargate in every direction. It must have been a magnificent city once upon a time, and it still was impressive though time had turned the buildings into crumbling heaps of rubble. Daniel knew by a glance at Jack that to him it all looked like a bunch of rocks, and honestly he couldn't blame him. It was technically a bunch of rocks, but it was rocks that had once been carved and placed together by men – or perhaps some kind of aliens. A few years ago that amendment would have been laughable – or a reason to have him checked into a mental institution – but today either one was equally probable and exciting.
He dove into the work at once, descending on a chosen building with trowels and brushes like a small and meticulous whirlwind of exploration. Jack was on his heels, while Sam was heading off in a different direction to do some geological tests. Teal'c chose to go with her in case she needed some help with heavy lifting.
Daniel wasn't sure why Jack insisted on staying with him, and he was more than a little surprised when he even offered to help out. He knew Jack wasn't interested in archaeology. It was one of the differences between them that would never change. To shake off the conundrums he focused on the things in front of him, solid things, things that had been the same for centuries, things he knew and understood.
The familiar movements were…soothing. His hands had been doing too many other things lately. They had become a soldier's hands; learned how to fight. Jack had given him lessons in the gym. He said he had to learn how to defend himself. He'd taken him to the shooting range too and taught him how to fire the Beretta he now had strapped to his leg. Its presence felt awkward and fleetingly he wondered if he would ever get used to carrying it. He was quite sure he would never get accustomed to using it, even if he did see Jack's point about it. The galaxy seemed to be overfull of people and creatures who wanted to harm them and sometimes diplomacy just didn't work. It was a fact he would have to accept.
On this mission though, there would be no shooting. There was nothing on this planet that was a threat. There was nothing on this planet period except for the ruins, and they wouldn't be attacking no matter what you did to them.
He scraped off another layer of gravely dust and felt his spade hit a snag. He brushed the dirt off with his fingers and the sun glinted off a golden edge. Curbing his excitement he resisted the urge to immediately dig all around the object to extract it. He might miss something else if he did that. In archaeology patience was the game – which Daniel had a sneaking suspicion was at least one reason why Jack found it so unbearable.