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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!

Stanegate
And they say Northerners aren't a warm & welcoming lot! B)

- H

PS: Oh Matt, forgot to mention, the old "Guide to the Roman Wall" by Bruce et al has lots of tidbits on Stanegate digs. Again the research is now quite dated, and may have to be taken with a grain of salt. But at least it's a start. Don't know how old the most recent edition is. I've got an edition from 1963.

Stanegate
Hi David. Sorry, could you repeat that? I didn't quite catch you.

:D

Happy Saturnalia!

- A refined American cousin

The Twice Brewed Quiz
For the love of all this is good and dear, post pictures!

Though if Pete happens to come dressed as a, errr, slightly effeminate pirate akin to last year's get-up, feel free -never- to post that.

- Harry

Merry Christmas!!!
Hi all! Just a quick note to say a very hearty Merry Christmas to everybody here. Hope this time of year is happy & peaceful to all!

I also wanted to say a big thank-you for everyone who's helped bring this site to life. I'm thrilled to see so many friends here, and to be making new ones. And to see the site coming together and take a life of its own.

So very Happy Holidays, and best wishes for a fabulous 2007!

- Harry

Stanegate
Hey Matt. "Gate" is one of those weird ones. Can mean both the modern gate, or street/way/thoroughfare. Then throw in the wacky Northumbrian dialect... ;)

I think the Stanegate would have to have been a proper stone-laid street. I mean, it was at the edge of hostile lands, and it was -the- link between all those forts. I'm sure they needed a road that could handle fast & efficient troop traffic.

If that tablet was written in ~100 AD, the road was, what, 20-30 years old. And the Romans were building it to Mediterranean specs, with little experience of Northumbrian winters! Must have deteriorated something fierce in all that time! Kind of like Maine roads still do today. :lol:

- Harry

Another new arrival
Nocturnal? No, it was the rolling in the hay during tea break that did us in! :lol:

Thanks all for the good wishes. Already got my "New Geordie Dictionary" at the ready so I can educate the little one on his/her roots. (I know, I know, Geordie ain't Tynedale; but I can't find a Tynedale dictionary online. So I must culturally dilute a bit.)

- Harry

Whither the Vindolanda Tablets?
Hey Matt. Actually I was wrong, it was "adopt a shoe." The basic idea is giving people a chance to pay the cost of conserving one of Vindolanda's thousands of leather shoes. You know, maybe give them a pamphlet describing the process, a picture or two of it being conserved, a little "certificate of appreciation" along with a nice glossy picture of the finished shoe once it's done.

Some of the guys there loved the idea. But some worried that it might be more trouble than it's worth. You know, getting the wacky people that show up thinking they now have a right to see and hold their shoe, or that it should be displayed prominently with their name on it like they cured some dreaded pandemic or something.

Anyway, -I- still like it. :)

- Harry

Welcome to wedigvindolanda.com!
Hi Rob! Great to meet you, and welcome to the site. I think you're going to have a blast next August. There's just no place quite like it. If there's anything you'd like to know about what to expect, etc., ask away. I'm sure plenty of folks here would be happy to misinform you to the best of our abilities. :lol:

- Harry

Another new arrival
So there's a little non-archaeological news from Sam and me. We're having a baby too! For those of y'all who know us, believe me, nobody was more surprised than us! But I figure, heck, if -Andy- could do it... ;) The blessed event is due in April, and we're -very- excited.

The most exciting thing? We did the math backwards, and it appears it's a Northumbrian baby. I always knew Tynedale had some good air.

Still haven't worked out the details of making an overseas trip as the father of a newborn next summer. But we'll cross that bridge as we come to it. At least I now have Andy as my guide into the frightening & fabulous world of fatherhood!

- Harry

Hedley Building Arch. Assessment
At long last, here is the PDF file Andy has been promising. The first of hopefully many eye-opening and mind-expanding treatises!

This report details trial trenches Andy & Justin opened up in November 2006 near the Hedley building (the coach house behind the museum). The excavation formed one part of the application process to create the new Vindolanda study center. The results were... stimulating. B)

Enjoy!

- Harry

Roundhouses at Vindolanda, why?
Gad, always knew you were more than just a pretty face. I'm suddenly thinking of a good many two-point Pub Quiz questions.

- H

Disk space increase!
It does indeed! He'd e-mailed it to me, so I'm going over to send it up today. At long last.

- Harry

Disk space increase!
Hi all! After a flurry of e-mails with the service provider, I've finally been able to upgrade the file space for the forum. Hooray!

If you have larger pictures or files you'd like to attach, up to about 300k each, bring em on! And if you happen to have a file quite a bit larger than that, e-mail me and I'll try to make room for it as well.

Still no sign of the long-promised picture galleries, but this is at least a step in the right direction.

Happy posting,
Harry

New arrivals
Hooray!!!

What a great picture. And Andy, you look only moderately terrified. Well done!

- H

outrage
Welcome to the fabulous world of archaeology forums David! Err... Glue!

For any new folks out there, David (he prefers Davey, or sometimes Dafydd) is son of the folks that run the local pub/B&B, the Twice Brewed Inn. I believe still son-in-good-standing as well, though I can't promise it. A man of outstanding fashion sense, and leader of the weekly world-infamous Twice Brewed Pub Quiz. Where exactly he's leading it, I'm sure I can't say.

Nice to see you here!

- Harry

New arrivals
Pho - to! Pho - to! Pho - to! Pho - to! Pho - to! Pho - to!

Pho - to! Pho - to! Pho - to! Pho - to! Pho - to! Pho - to!

Pho - to! Pho - to! Pho - to! Pho - to! Pho - to! Pho - to!

No pressure. :)

Huge, huge congratulations from Sam and me! Hmm, this presents so many ideas for the 2007 digger T-shirt.

- Harry

Museum or an art gallery?
Already doing a little rethink... I guess the Abbey & Tower aren't really museums; more sites of historical importance that happen to have museum-quality artifacts in droves.

I think my fave true museum just might be at Durham Cathedral. The display of St. Cuthbert's treasures, etc., is done really well. It's small & well-focused, the displays can be seen from various sides, the lighting is low & dramatic, the information is thorough & not overwhelming. And it's not packed to the gills with visitors! I think that pound-for-pound, I got the most out of the experience there.

- Harry

Museum or an art gallery?
Wow, this is harder than I'd have guessed. So many, for so many reasons.

1. Fave museum/gallery: Westminster Abbey or the Tower of London. I think it's because they're still functional; in some way still serving the purposes that made them famous. The weight of the history, ambling past the tombs of kings & queens in the Abbey; the countless tales in the various chambers & buildings of the Tower. It's a sense of place, which helps give that sense of meaning.

2. Fondest memory: Skipping for now (grew up in Orlando; the oldest thing is 30 years old :).

3. Galleries/museums: Museums. Artifacts crafted & used by people have more appeal for me than paintings & artwork. I find good lighting to be a biggie. I think of Durham Cathedral's "Treasures of Cuthbert" for the "wow" factor, and the ability to examine artifacts from all sides.

4. Fave at Vindolanda: A small terra cotta votive lamp that showed up a year ago. Rumor has it that a highly esteemed volunteer found that in '04. Was half an inch away from obliterating it with a spade. Good stuff, that!

5. What to learn more: The conservation process. It's amazing the science that goes into preserving these items. That video of the tablets is FABULOUS. Something that showed the process for wood, leather, cloth, what-have-you, would hold my interest.

Whither the Vindolanda Tablets?
These are excellent points. The truth is, I -love- that everything you see wandering through the museum at Vindolanda has come from the site. It's not some attempt to put together a "theme" showing what might be found at a generic site. This is the real deal! Very rare for the museums I've been in, either in the U.S., U.K., or elsewhere. And the excellent cataloguing adds to that value.

Which brings a thought. Is this a hook Vindolanda is using, or could use, to attract attention--from both academics and tourists? It seems there's a lot that other museums could learn from taking a good look at what Vindolanda's doing right. Plus the value to the public of seeing an organized collection all garnered from one place.

I figure, if the British Museum isn't willing to give Vindolanda a higher profile, maybe Vindolanda's got enough going for it to give itself one!

- Harry

PS: Don't forget Andy, there's still my fabulous "Adopt a Tablet" idea. :P