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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!

I think a lot of it hinges on whether there was any kind of defensive ditch or rampart on the north side of the Stanegate. My (limited!) understanding is that there wasn't. If that's right, it's hard to see it as any kind of formal frontier or border. Much easier to see it as a staging point--a convenient place to collect food & supplies for the front-line troops pushing into Scotland.

I guess it brings up two more questions:

-- Were the forts linked to northern outpost forts via multiple roads, etc.? If the only road north at the time was Dere Street way to the east at Corbridge, it's hard to picture Vindolanda and the forts west of it as being much use for staging. They'd make more sense as a frontier.

-- What about signal towers along the Stanegate? Any sign of a formal communication link between the forts? If so, that seems to support the idea of a frontier. But if not, that seems to make it less likely.

It's amazing what we still don't know!

- Harry

A little 20th Century history
In World War II, Tynedale was considered a pretty safe part of Britain to be. Nevertheless, during the course of the war, bombs did fall on the countryside, and no less than a dozen planes went down. One, a German Dornier bomber, was shot down on March 25, 1943 by a British night fighter and crashed into Steel Rigg, not far from the Twice Brewed Inn, less than a mile from Vindolanda. Its 4 crew members died and were buried in Carlisle.

Even with its ancient ruins & its timeless, pastoral landscape, "Hadrian's Wall Country" is very much still an active part & parcel of the modern world. Proof positive that there's no such thing as the "end of history"!

Read the full article here.

- Harry

Areas of Excavation 2007
Poor Justin! Sent out to trace another ditch! You know what happens when you do that right? He manages to find yet another fort. Where are we at now, 10 or 11? Justin, I feel your pain!

- Harry

Roundhouses at Vindolanda, why?
I was just watching a show on Romans and forts a few days ago (didn't write the name & am already fuzzy on the facts) that briefly went to Caerleon. Erm... I think it was Caerleon. Curse my addled brain! Anyway, near the walls they showed a line of 3 or 4 lovely little round stone foundations. Looked exactly like those at Vindolanda. The show didn't make a comment on what they were. (Being TV they likely would have gotten it wrong anyway.) But I thought it was striking that here they were, also popping up contemporary with and next to a Roman fort (legionary this time).

Wish I could remember more; it'd be neat to know if they were also Severan.

- Harry

Your coolest find
Two absolutely fabulous photos! The javelin is a real work of art, and nothing brings the site home like someone's own name etched in a prized possession.

Great stuff,
- Harry

20 Questions are up!
Hello everybody! Thanks to a couple great suggestions for site content, I've spent the past week putting together a general "Vindolanda 20 Questions" file for your enjoyment. It can be found at the "Primer" forum.

Andy likes to take a few minutes at the beginning of a week to get folks up to speed. With this little cheat-sheet, you can turn the tables and answer his questions with enthusiasm. He'll never know what hit him. :D

And don't let him try to tell you he knows when the Antonine fort really began. He's just making stuff up.

Best to all,
- Harry