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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!

User name.

Sorry, the system's supposed to send me e-mail notices when requests come in, but it's on the fritz. I'll see if I can get it to behave right!

- Harry

2009 Summer Lecture Series at Vindolanda Announced
The Roman Army Museum Lecture Programme for Summer 2009 will feature talks by Prof. Anthony Birley, Prof. Robin Birley, and Dr. Deb Bennett. See details below:

The Travels of Hadrian
An evening with Professor Anthony Birley
Thursday 14th May 2009

This informative lecture from the most recent biographer of Hadrian will look at some of the journeys the Emperor made during his reign. He travelled widely throughout his Empire, leaving behind him new cities, public buildings and, of course, new frontiers. Hadrian visited Britain in AD 122 and was one of the few reigning Emperors to visit the province. It is likely that work on the northern frontier, Hadrianís Wall, had started shortly before this visit to Britain.

The Impact of the Vindolanda Writing Tablets
An evening with Dr Robin Birley
Thursday, 23rd July 2009

Donít miss this opportunity to listen to, Dr Robin Birley as he discusses the correspondence from the past, and the impact the Vindolanda writing tablets have had on modern day archaeology. These amazing artefacts, voted Britainís Top Treasure by the British Museum, have brought us a unique insight into everyday life on the northern frontier of the Roman Empire.

C.S.I. at Vindolanda: Who killed the cowÖand how?
An evening with Dr Deb Bennett
Thursday, 3rd September 2009

Dr Deb Bennett, an expert bone analyst, will be discussing the truly fascinating subject of forensics. She will explain how she tells one bone from another, how she discovers which animal it is from and, as the title suggests, who killed the cow... and how? This promises to be a hugely entertaining and informative evening, not to be missed!


The Evening Format
6:30pm - The museum doors open (exclusively for lecture ticket holders only)
7:00pm - The lecture starts
8:00pm - Guests can mingle & chat with the guest speaker. Enjoy a complimentary
drink & view the museum at your leisure.
9:00pm - The museum closes for the evening
The coffee shop will be open from 6:30pm until 8:30pm for refreshments

Tickets - £10

This includes:
A lecture by the guest speaker
An exclusive after hours viewing of The Roman Army Museum
The opportunity to watch The Eagleís Eye Film
A glass of wine or fruit juice after the lecture
Tickets must be booked in advance via

The Vindolanda Trust office telephone: 01434 344 277

Refunds are not available

Friends of Vindolanda receive a 25% discount (tickets £7.50)

Area A. The Barracks
Kate, those new pics are awesome. Stones, stones everywhere. I love those massive blocks in the floor in the southern bit -- they look like the post-Roman floor in the granaries from last year. And that's pretty incredible that you found the door threshold still intact.

Keep 'em coming folks!

Area A. The Barracks
Love that picture of the late wall built into the rampart. Looks like the kinda wall I'd build! Great to see such neat pics so early in the season, thanks tons for the posts.

Layers of history
At the turn of the 19th Century, within a couple hundred meters of the now-visible fort, there were no less than 5 tenant crofts -- Wellmeadow Close, Archy's Flat, Codley Gate, High Foggrigg, and Smiths Chesters -- plus the ruins of a mill down in the valley.

Of all those, the only one to survive today is Codley Gate (which is now a working farm and a self-catering accommodation). Wellmeadow Close lay under the modern visitor's center; Smiths Chesters was right outside the military bath house and has been completely removed; Archy's Flat's foundations lay buried in the fields to the north of the Stanegate; High Foggrigg was in the valley downstream of Vindolanda, now reclaimed by nature. And that ruined mill? You might know the site -- it's now home to Chesterholm, Vindolanda's museum, built 1831.

In the Middle Ages, the Borders had been wild & dangerous. But when the Union of the Crowns brought peace, tenant farmers moved in. They exhausted themselves clearing & improving the land -- removing centuries of scrub and brush. Many generations tried their best to make a living from the land. Of course, their efforts also caused destruction to much of Vindolanda's remains. Ironically, it was this destruction that galvanized the historians of the time to try to protect what was left. People like Anthony Hedley and John Clayton bought up huge swaths of the countryside, saving the ancient stones while sealing the fate of dozens -- or hundreds? -- of similar crofts across the whole Wall frontier.

New page on "Recent Excavations" - 2007 Stone Fort I NW corner
At long last, I've put up a page on the "Recent Excavations - 2007" section about finding Stone Fort I's NW corner. Had a few pretty great member pics from the dig and wanted to highlight them. Visually it may be less impressive than the granaries of 2008. But finding the corners of fort walls helps an -awful- lot in figuring out the layout of what's inside said forts. This was actually one of those unsung "biggies" from '07. I'm psyched that pics from WeDig members were able to tell the tale! Hoping for a lot of great shots as '09 unfolds.

Area A 2009
Wow. That's a lot of rocks. The barracks north of the granaries, right? Good luck to Andy & crew figuring out that story.

Thx for the great pic! Love the shirts this year too.

Recent server downages
Hey all. I've noticed that the boards have been down the past couple of mornings. This has been a service provider-wide effect (even the main www.zetaboards.com site was down).

On 2 April they announced a service upgrade, so this is probably maintenance & tweaking. If I find heads-ups about future downtimes on their forums, I'll post to let you all know.

Anyway, back in business for now!

Jumping to conclusions
When the first rich organic material appeared at Vindolanda in 1973, it was a boon to the new field of environmental archaeology. For the first time, it would be possible to find out intimate details of daily life by studying preserved organic remains!

Many samples were sent to Dr. Mark Seaward of Bradford University, and results were eagerly awaited. One sample, a batch of bracken "carpeting," came from the Period III praetorium (the period with the famous prefect Cerialis and his wife Lepidina). When the analysis was finished, the archaeological world -- and the press -- were scandalized! The bracken was literally awash in urine, excrement, and thousands of fly pupae!

Newspaper headlines read "Roman leader lived in Hadrian's Wall slum," and "Were early Romans house-trained?" A line of contemporary poetry read "Late excavations on the Wall report / The garrisons lived there in their excrement."

It wasn't until the area was reexamined in 1991-1992 that the truth came out. The "room" where the carpet was taken from was actually an animal pen outside the servants' quarters/workshops -- part of the prefect's personal stock. The integrity of Roman hygiene was restored, the world of Romano-British studies breathed easily once more, and a valuable lesson had been learned!

Seaward, M. "The Vindolanda Environment." 1976
Birley, R. "On Hadrian's Wall." 1977
Birley, R. "Vindolanda: A Roman Frontier Fort on Hadrian's Wall." 2009

Starry-eyed youth
Apr 4 2009, 03:54 AM
And as an aside, while helping my Mum and Dad clear out their garage, we happened across a Vindolanda Guide, 1 A4 piece of paper folded in half mentioning the 1986 exhibit! (That makes me only three at my first visit To Vindolanda! :D ) Quite different from the snazzy shiny-papered book you get now!
Too funny! Your future was sealed at 3 1/2.

Do you still have that guide? I'm trying to collect all the various paraphernalia from over the years (*cough* Geek! *cough*). I'd love a scan or a pic of it. It can sit next to my 1973 guidebook lamenting the loss of so much perishable organic material -- which went to press literally weeks before the first of the tablets came up. B)