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From Aug 2006 - Nov 2013 WeDig provided a live forum for diggers & fans of Vindolanda. It has now been mothballed and will be maintained as a live archive.

Here you will find preserved 7 years of conversation, photos, & knowledge about a site many people love. Vindolanda gets under the skin. (Figuratively and literally as a volunteer excavator!) It's a place you remember, filled with people you remember!

Thanks for 7 great years!

New Digger's Guide page - Vindolanda on Foot
Hi all! Long-time WeDig'er, and new co-admin, Tim "Badger" Wolter has just put together for the Digger's Guide a page near and dear to him: Vindolanda on Foot. Over the years Tim's learned many tricks for surviving -- and getting the most out of -- the wild lands of Tynedale without a car of his own. This is an excellent guide, chock-a-bloc with tips & links to nearby accommodation, food, provision, and transportation options. It's a perfect anchor for the Digger's Guide's long-overdue "Getting Oriented" section.

Thanks a bunch for this, Tim! As always, any thoughts & comments from the WeDig community are heartily welcomed.

- Harry

3D Modeling comes of age
Pretty neat YouTube video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8z4m8ZIMTz8. The folks involved with the Binchester Roman Fort project have done a 3D recreation of its baths complex and then uploaded it into Second Life. (Binchester is about an hour's drive southeast of Vindolanda.) It lets a person's avatar explore and "walk through" the entire space however they'd like. And it also provides panels that a person can click to get info (and even audio/voiceover) on what they're viewing.

This type of modeling is now possible for pretty much anybody to do, using free products like Google Sketchup. It really offers a vast new way to educate folks about the past, and bring it to life. It also offers many pitfalls for misuse. After all, taking a few battered courses of stonework and trying to recreate the entire 3D space is impossible. The best anyone can hope for is an educated guess. Still, I really like it.

June 27-July 1 dig
I'll be there that week too. Can't wait to get my hands back in the dirt!

- Harry

Welcome to all!
Before any more time went by, I wanted to say a hearty "Welcome!" to all the new "We Dig"ers. I'm Harry, and I live with my wife & young daughter in Maine, USA. I started this site back in August 2006 as a way for Vindolanda volunteers to keep in touch in the off-season. This past year, it's expanded to become a resource for new (and veteran) diggers as well. Here in the forums you'll find pictures & stories of recent years' digs, sections where you can get & give advice about local businesses, a freshly-updated list of links, and forums to read current news about Vindolanda itself. There is also a calendar that will be filled with upcoming events, and a mail system where you can exchange private messages with other "We Dig"ers. Vindolanda's Director of Excavations, Andrew Birley, and his deputy, Justin Blake, both are generous with their time & their input here as well. It's always a thrill to get a "behind the scenes" look at what's going on, and we're honoured to have their continued support & respect.

In addition to the forums, there is an ever-growing Digger's Guide with:
-- A few quick guides to understanding what Vindolanda is
-- Background about Vindolanda's various periods
-- Brief guides to how those periods fit into the wider Roman world
-- Pages of special interest such as coinage, pottery, & bones found in the trenches
-- A growing list of other less well-known area attractions
-- A fledgling list of interesting local walks

In June, We Dig Vindolanda was privileged to be featured in "British Archaeology" magazine. Since then, the site has received 40,000 hits. We now boast more than 350 members, and have reached 2000 posts. And none of this would have been possible without you, the We Dig community. I want to stress that every member, no matter how new or seasoned, is valued here. There are no dumb questions or dumb topics (with the possible exception of some of mine). This site works best when folks dive in, post thoughts, have discussions & even arguments, and get involved. I'm always amazed by the generosity of people with their time & their helpfulness.

So, welcome again, we're thrilled to have you all here. I invite you to explore, enjoy, and start posting.

If you'd like to introduce (or reintroduce!) yourself to the community, please just hit reply and say Hi!

Links and More Links
There are a billion Web pages devoted to Hadrian's Wall and the area. Most of you probably have your own favorites already. But it never hurts to keep a list of the really useful ones. Below is my starter list of sites about Vindolanda, the Wall, and the region, that I find myself going back to again and again. If anyone has any to add, let me know!

Vindolanda and/or Hadrian's Wall-Specific:

The reason this fan site exists.

Excellent site with well-done overview of Vindolanda history, and hundreds of high-resolution images of actual tablets, along with translations.

Brand-new "sister Web site" to the above, including the texts & background for all the tablets from the CSAD site -AND- nearly 300 new tablets never before publicly catalogued. Dive in!

Complete Google Earth atlases and photography of the entire Wall! This is an incredible resource, giving popups for all known forts, fortlets, milecastles, turrets, and camps -- including on-site photos, links to excavation history, etc. Wow.

Web site dedicated to pulling together centuries' worth of published, public material for the entire Wall and Stanegate frontier systems. Still in its infancy, and a little slow to take off. But appears to have the potential to be a serious boon to the study & discussion of the Wall (and Stanegate forts like Vindolanda).

Very useful overview with history, travel information, links to attractions & sites, and information on hiking/cycling the region. A great starting point for the region.

Museums & Sites to Visit

Blog about the annual digs at Binchester fort, about an hour's drive SE of Vindolanda. Roman fort along Dere Street (the main road north from York), lots of interesting late archaeology came up in '09 digs, some good parallels with Vindolanda.

Tullie House Museum in Carlisle. Excellent museum covering most of the western part of Hadrian's Wall (as well as medieval and later). Great artefacts, and some interesting books in their bookstore.

Great North Museum in Newcastle. Incredible artefacts, including huge collection of top-tier sculptured stones from the Wall region.

Senhouse Museum in Maryport on west coast. Maryport is last "official" fort in the series of coastal frontier defenses that led south from the western end of Hadrian's Wall. Excellent sculptured stones, including an almost unbroken series of annual dedication stones. Unique, and worth the trip.

North Pennines Archaeology has recently begun annual summer digs at nearby Dilston Castle, just south of Corbridge. It's a remarkable place, filled with history of the Reformation and the Jacobite wars -- the same wars that ultimately led to the destruction of so much of Hadrian's Wall in the 18th Century.

General Regional Interest

*** NEW!! *** http://burntearthblog.wordpress.com/
A neat experimental-archaeology blog following an archaeologist at Binchester "specializing in ceramic technology and transfer of craft knowledge."

Advocate of rural landscape conservation & usage

Self-explanatory. Found a nice decrepit northern farmhouse to fix up?

Guided walking tours throughout Northumberland, Cumbria, and the Borders

International creative writing project inspired by the Vindolanda tablets.

The Hexham Courant is the major newspaper for Tynedale. Very high-quality for a low-budget newspaper, and the Web site covers an excellent range of local information. Next best thing to "being there" for news about the region.

Northumberland Books. Fascinating bookstore with many titles of interest about local history, culture, etc. A perfect way for a lover of Tynedale and the North in general to delve a little deeper into the region.

Known as "The British Library of Secondhand Bookshops," this bookstore located in Alnwick (with a searchable database online) has an amazing selection of texts about the Wall, Roman Britain, Northumberland -- as well as many other topics of interest. If you're looking for something and can't find it anywhere, this could well be the place for you.