Vindolanda, Week 2

In week two we were moved from the North Field over to the main site.


Tania and I were put on an area that hadn’t been fully excavated the week before, on part of a road. Tania quickly found another road surface below, from an earlier fort. She was set to work excavating this.

James was not far away, excavating part of a drain:

In that photo he is tunnelling under a capstone, that was used to cap the drains. Most of these are now broken or gone. The drains would probably have been lined in wood as well.

I spent the first day rather puzzled as I couldn’t find any of the lovely smooth cobblestones Tania was uncovering. Instead what gradually appeared were a series of large rocks in a row. It turned out I had hit a lower portion of the drain James was excavating.

Some finds from the drain:
A lovely piece of glass. You can tell it’s Roman because it has bubbles in it. The Romans hadn’t figured out how to get air bubbles out of glass. This would have come from the bottom of a vessel, a cup for instance. I also learned that the reason we don’t find much glass is that unlike pottery, when glass broke, the Romans recycled it!

This is from an iron blade of some sort.

This was definitely the most I managed to pull out in a single day. The large piece of pottery in the lower left corner is from a mortarium, a mixing bowl with grit stuck in the inner surface to aid in grinding food, like a mortar and pestle.

One of these is a nail. One is an eye pin. Can you tell which?

Tania had some impressive finds from the road:
Green glass bead.

Part of a bronze crossbow brooch.

On the final day (which was also the final day of digging for the entire year) James and I had a big push to join our trenches together, and Tania tried to get her road to the edge of the ditch.


And believe it or not, we made it:

Now I really want to sign up for the first week of next year’s dig season so I can pick up where I left off! There really is something completely addictive about digging. I learned a lot about myself and my abilities and was pleasantly surprised. I didn’t expect to enjoy the experience as much as I did, but I loved every minute of it, and can’t wait to go back. I even had my eye on a house up there, if only I had the money to buy it!


One thought on “Vindolanda, Week 2

  1. Pingback: Split | Knit your own yoghurt

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