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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!

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Carlisle 1999 Roman dig finally published!
Just seeing that the 1999 Carlisle dig that uncovered impressive Roman archaeology has finally been published: http://www.cumberlandnews.co.uk/news/carlisle-dig-s-roman-finds-of-international-importance-report-1.702782?referrerPath=news

At 936 pages, it doesn't sound like light reading! But probably fascinating to see the similarities & differences with what's at Vindolanda. Especially as they were deep in anaerobic conditions and, I believe, also recovered at least a few writing tablets. Oddly, there's no mention of the tablets -- or of Vindolanda at all -- in the article, a pretty glaring omission.

Anyway, for your amusement!

Area A. April / May 2010
Great pictures & info as always Michael. I'm loving the armchair views! And I'm not alone -- your post has blown the lid off the "quickest-to-1000-page-views" record. Thanks a bunch for these.

Area B blog, late April 2010
Day 4: 30 April


Odd weather. Rain, sun, rain, sun, hail, sun. Nothing to slow the digging down.

Fred and I alternated areas today. The previous area with big lunkin' rocks continues to be artifact free. I can imagine a hired contractor back in Roman times being told 'Four cartloads of rock, Fabius, and top quality only, no refuse thrown in!'. Probably there is a ditch under it all.

The other area was better, we dug two more spindle whorls today (this is a circular weight used to hold down the loose end of yarn while weaving). That makes three in a small area, so perhaps it means there was a weaving establishment there?

Various odd bits of pottery also found.

Next digger over turned up the neck of a really pretty sapphire perfume bottle. When you think about how much sewage there was all over the place one wonders why perfume bottles are an infrequent find. Maybe some of those 20 gallon amphorae we find were filled with something other than olive oil.....cheap parfume?

- Tim and Fred

Vindo-Blogging
Justin, a blog would be brilliant! The best advice is to use common sense. Before you describe something, imagine if you could picture it being sold on eBay. Features that you find (walls, floors, drains, roads, etc.) are great to talk about. Things like pottery, nails, bits of ironwork & bronze are generally fine to discuss. Even note of a generic coin. But a hoard of coins, a very fine piece of metalwork, anything obviously valuable -- leave that out. Use your gut, and err on the side of caution. Consider that at this very moment there is probably a thief with a metal detector & a shovel scanning the Web looking for info about the next big find. Divulge only what you'd be prepared to tell the wider world about your own property. And if there's any doubt at all, just ask on-site. Justin, Andy, et al are great about advising what can go live and what should be hush-hush.

Area B blog, late April 2010
Day 3: 29 April


Not a lot to report.

The area Fred and I were in had such initial promise....but the section I dug down was pretty much barren. I decided it must have been the floor of the village poor house...no artifacts larger than small pottery chips. Even the bones were small, maybe hand outs gnawed on more than once.

Fred did a little better, but not without effort. There is a large swath of river rock passing through the trench. Not natural, someone went to considerable effort to haul wagon loads of rock up from the river and dump them. Why? When? And over what? There were some broken bits of amphorae, big honkin' storage jars that would make fine road patching material once broken. But troweling between boulders is hard duty.

On the other end of the site are some rookie diggers. They laugh, they tease each other, then find interesting artifacts. A bit of bronze armor. A rolled up bit of lead, possibly a curse scroll (?)!

Breezy weather, three straight days without significant showers. Unprecedented!

Area B blog, late April 2010
Day 2: 28 April


Long day of exposing a random looking pile of rocks. There is a clear feature running diagonally across it, but perhaps a Victorian era field drain.

A few finds turned up, might be random bits that have been tossed about. Found the neck of a cool ringed wine flagon. And a palm sized slab of decorated Samian ware. This bit had elaborate designs on it, hunting dogs, grape leaves, a fish.

Next trench over a coin in decent shape turned up.

Dubious weather tomorrow, so if no update means we got rained out and had to find other things to do.

Area B blog, late April 2010
WeDig'er Badger is over digging in Area B with Justin this week, next week Area A with Andy. He's been forwarding e-mails at the end of the day, and OK'd a reposting here:

Day 1: 27 April


Fred and I make the long journey in pretty good form. It actually adds up to almost 24 hours of travel if you tack on the drive... Minor travel glitches along the way so we got in tired, late and slightly delirious. Slept hard. Woke up with sun blazing in the window. My usual senses told me 8 am and time to hurry for breakfast. But no, it was 6am and the world was silent. We are it seems far enough north that we are kind of Alaska like. Nights are short and still partly bright, dawn comes early and with emphasis.

Delightful weather.

Digging off and running, most of the crew were assigned to areas started last week. But there was a large area, maybe 12 by 10 feet that needed the turf taken off... Many barrow loads of turf, then of the tumbled rock and rubble that goes down the next 8 inches.

A few items turned up, although we are still too close to surface for any concentrated finds. Fred found half of a nice spindle whorl. And the usual assortment of pottery fragments. On the other side of the site two nice beads came up, one still has gold leaf on it.

Still early, so we may slake our thist a bit then walk up the hill to the Wall. And its quiz nite later, so there is usually a Vindolanda team. Not that Fred and I will be much help on the music trivia that dominates.

Online Puzzle
Stumbled on an interesting little website, "Jigidi." I guess you can post pictures, and their program will turn them into a jigsaw puzzle. Currently doing this one of Vindolanda's reconstructions, and it's actually kinda fun! Looks like you have to register in order to post, but not if you just want to do the puzzles.

Roll Call - Who's Coming?
Thanks to all who have posted. Even though the season's begun, it's not too late to add your name! Just send an e-mail or personal message with your screen name, the week(s) you're digging, and whether it's Andy's or Justin's team. And I'll be happy to add you to the list.

How much the tablets have told us
Many people know the "biggie" writing tablets -- the birthday invitation; the bundle of fresh socks & underwear from home; the comment on the lousy roads; the observation about "wretched little Brits." We know that the tablets have brought names to light: around AD 100 the commander was Flavius Cerialis, and his wife was Sulpicia Lepidina. There was a trader, Octavius, who communicated with a Candidus. A few others may come to mind.

But it may surprise you just how much those fragile, faded, broken slivers of wood have brought from the distant past. The following is just one measure of their value, a (likely incomplete) list of names mentioned in the tablets found so far:

Acranius; Adiutor, Vittius, aquilifer; Aduectus; Africanus, Vocusius, praefectus; Aga[]; Agilis; Albanus; Albinus; Albiso; Alio, ueterinarius; Allatus?; Amabilis; Ammius; Andecarus; Andle[]; Aquilio?; Arcanus, miles; Aristo?; Arquittius, optio; Ascanius; Asper, Licinius; Ato?; Atrectus, ceruesarius; Atticus; Atto, decurio; Atto; Audax; Aventinus; Billo; Bog[]; Bolanus, Vettius, consul; Brigio; Brigionus; Brocchus, Aelius; Buccus; Butimas; Caecus; Caledus; Candidus; Candidus, optio Candidus, slave of Genialis; Cano[]; Capito; Carpentarius?; Catussa; Celer; Cephalio; Cerialis, Flauius, praefectus; Certius; Cessaucius; Cessius Fin[]; Chnisso; Chrauttius; Claudius; Cogitatus; Conianus, Flauius; Corinthus; Crescens; Crescens, centurio; Crispa; Crispinus; Crispinus, Grattius; Crispus; Culcianus; Cuselus, centurio; C]aledus; Dardanus; Diligens; Dio; Elpis; Equester, centurio; Equester, Annius, centurio regionarius; Exomnius, centurio; Expeditus; Faber, Cluuius; Fadus; Fatalis; Felicio, centurio; Feni[]; Ferox; Festus; Fidelis; Firmanus; Firminus; Firmus; Flavianus; Flavianus, Hostilius; Flavinus; Flavius; Florus; Fontanus, ]ius; Fortunatus, centurio; Fraternus; Frontinus, eques; Frontius; Frue[]; Frumentius, centurio?; Furio; Fuscinius; Fuscus; Gambax; Gamiso; Gannallius; Gau(u)o; Genialis, Flauius, praefectus?; Genitor; Gentilis; Germanus; Gleuco; Gracilis; Gramaseus?; Hermes; Huep[]; Huete[]; Ianuarius; Iddi[]; Imber, Furius; Ingenuus; Ircucisso; Iulius, Frontinus; Iustinus; Iustinus, optio; Iustus, Celonius; Iustus, Macr[]; Karus, Claudius; Lent[]; Lepidina, Sulpicia; Lib(e)rinus?; Lub[]; Luca, uector; Lucanus; Lucerius; Lucco; Lucius; Lucius, decurio; Lucius, scutarius; Lupelus, centurio; Lupus; Lutius; Lu[, beneficiarius; Macrinus; Mansuetus; Marcellus, consularis; Marcia; Marcus, medicus; Marcus, optio?; Marinus; Masculus, decurio; Masuetus; Messicus; Messor; Metto; Modius; Natalis; Niger; Niger, Oppius; Niger, Valerius; Nigrinus?, Cessaucius; Nis[, ]nius; Octauius; Onno[; Pac(a)ta; Pacatus; Paratus?; Paris; Pastor; Paterna; Paternus; Petrus, Flauius; Piso, Calpurnius, consul; Placidus; Pollio; Popa, Claudius; Prese[]; Primigenius, slave of Cerialis?; Primus; Primus, slave (?) of Lucius; Priscinius; Priscinus; Priscus; Priuatus; Proculus; Proculus, Flauius; Prudens; Publicus; Quar[; Quintia; Quintus; Quotus?; Rhenus; Rhenus, slave of Similis; Rufinus; Rufinus, praefectus; Rufus; Sabinus; Saco; Saecularis, Cassius Sancta; Sanctus; Sattua; Saturninus; Sautenus; Senecio; September, Caecilius; Sequentinius; Settius; Severa, Claudia; Severinus; Severus; Severus, Vettius; Similis; Similis, Flauius; Simplex; Singularis; Sollemnis; Spectatus; Stipo; Suasco; Super, Clodius; Super, Curtius; Super?; Tagamos, vexillarius; Tagarminis; Tappo; Taurinus; Taurus; Tertius; Tetricus; Thuttena; Tranquillus; Trophimus; Troucisso; Tullio; Tullio, centurio; Ucen(i)us, centurio; Uxperus; Valatta; Valentinus; Vale[]; Varcenus; Varia[]; Vatto; Vattus; Vel(de)deius, equisio consularis; Velbuteius; Velox, Marcus Cocceius; Veranius, praefectus; Verecunda; Verecundus, optio; Verecundus, Iulius, praefectus; Vern[], centurio; Verus, [Cla]udius, decurio; Vettius; Vibbi[]; Victor; Victor, Felicius; Viddi[]; Vindex; Viranus; Virilis, ueterinarius; Viriocius; Vitalis; Vitalis, decurio; Vocontius, centurio; Voturius, centurio.

260+ names -- and counting! A handful are known from inscriptions and tales elsewhere across the Empire. But the vast majority are people whose very existence had disappeared from all knowledge. A lucky few have even emerged as real personalities thanks to the tablets. The efforts of the Vindolanda Trust, and volunteer diggers, over the past 40 years have recovered them from obscurity.

The accounts, personal letters, records -- all have put flesh on the skeleton of the Roman frontier's past. And revealed remarkable, intimate details of a fascinating world. But to this author, the most amazing feat has been the simple act of giving people back their names.



References:
Birley, Anthony. Garrison Life at Vindolanda: A Band of Brothers, Tempus 2002 -- a must-read.
Oxford University Center for the Study of Ancient Documents: Vindolanda Writing Tablets

Area B, April 2010
More great pics, thanks so much. I've started up an "Area B April" thread and moved them all over here. Wait... what's that on the northern bit. Large stones, not cobbles? In Area B? Who said there's no such thing as miracles.

Excavations of 1959
This snapshot from Google Earth will hopefully help make sense of the three main dig sites mentioned in the report.

Posted Image

Robin was to follow up discussion of the three in 1994's Vindolanda Research Reports, New Series, Volume 1: The Early Wooden Forts, Roman Army Museum Publications (Bardon Mill), pp. 131-132. Site I wasn't redug, but there is an interesting discussion of a likely Roman track down toward the Tyne making use of the site. Site II's eastern side was explored more fully, and it was confirmed as a foundry with a fairly long life. A later shed was discovered attached to the eastern side along the north wall. The stonework used in Site II seemed to be more closely related to Severan Period VI-B stonework than a Period VII vicus, making this building something of an enigma. Lastly, of Site III Robin notes that "there is little to add to the 1959 report's conclusion." Robin concluded from the evidence that it was "probably an orthodox civilian 'strip house', unremarkable except for the skill demonstrated by its builders' successful efforts to avoid subsidence in a dangerously unstable environment." It was entirely removed so that the early forts could be thorougly examined at this spot. And indeed the early Period II/III gateways were found lying a couple meters directly below.

Excavations of 1959
1959 was something of a momentous year at Vindolanda. After more than 20 years of relative inactivity, the sound of spades & wheelbarrows again rang out at the site. This time, instead of Professor Eric Birley, it was son Robin at the helm, leading his first major Vindolanda excavation. Robin and his team opened three trenches off the SW corner of the visible stone fort. He published his report in Archaeologia Aeliana, Series IV, Volume XL (1962). Now, he and the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle-upon-Tyne have graciously permitted the reproduction of that report here. As before, please keep in mind that these works are still held under copyright, used here by permission, and not intended to be reproduced or republished. Hope you enjoy!




VI.-SOME EXCAVATIONS AT CHESTERHOLM-VINDOLANDA

R. E. Birley


This report on excavations at Chesterholm is long overdue. It had been intended to resume excavations there in 1962, in an attempt to secure the complete plan of the vicus, but this writer's leisure must now be devoted to other commitments, and it has been thought expedient to publish the results of the 1959 excavation, together with a record of two interesting finds from trial trenching in the fort ditches in 1949 and 1956, before they are forgotten. The decorated samian bowl from the 1949 excavation and the coin from that of 1956 are described in the short appendices to this report, which concerns work in the vicus.

It had not hitherto been possible to excavate in the field to the south of that in which the fort of Vindolanda and the greater part of the vicus lie; but in February 1959, through the good offices of the late Thomas Batey, Mr. Henderson of Huntercrook kindly gave permission for a short investigation of certain surface indications, and the Durham University Excavation Committee put the services of their two workmen, Messrs. Batey and Hall, at the disposal of the writer. Professor Birley and Mr. J. P. Gillam visited the site and gave much advice and assistance, while Mr. Charles Anderson of the Ministry of Works brought a hut for the excavation tools. It must be recorded that during the five weeks of excavation in February and March only one morning was disrupted by poor weather, and apart from the difficulty of removing frozen turf no better conditions could be imagined.

THE EXCAVATIONS

Very little was known about the area south of the field wall near the south-west angle of the fort; but Hodgson’s account, based on notes made in 1810, implied the possibility of Roman burials, and surface indications of buildings, taken in conjunction with the contours of the site, suggested the existence of a Mithraeum close to the large oak-tree.

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Figure 1

(a) Site I. A few yards down the slope from the oak-tree a large stone, visible on the surface of a boggy patch, had already attracted attention, implying the presence of a substantial structure. It proved to be part of a massive, rough roadway crossing over a wide flat-bottomed ditch, evidently to drain off water from the west side of the fort, higher up the hill (see fig. 1). Surface inspection showed the existence of a rough cart-track approaching the crossing from the east, but there was no trace of a continuation to the west. Fuller investigation would involve draining the area, but it was apparent that the crossing was placed across the ditch when it was already largely silted up, and there was not enough evidence to give a date to its construction. It might be Roman, but it could also date from the eighteenth century.

(b) Site II. Higher up the slope, and near the south-west angle of the fort, there lay a small workshop, 39 ft. 8 ins. by 20 ft. 6 ins. (see fig. 2), built above the filled-in ditch, which was fully 40 ft. wide and at least 7 ft. deep at this point, probably representing the junction of a fort ditch with the drainage ditch. In it a small furnace bore witness of intense fire, whilst a heavy platform near by presumably served as a work-bench; this latter was situated immediately in front of a small partitioned enclosure which, to judge from a hole in the outside wall at ground level, served as a latrine. The fact that its outlet adjoined a well need not surprise us, for the latter's water can only have been used for industrial purposes, in view of the presence of quantities of rubbish, including much bone, in the ditch below. The western room had been largely demolished, but remains of the floor supports and the absence of broken flags suggested that there had been a wooden floor, raised above ground level to offset the dampness of the site. The building showed traces of two periods, the second of which had occasioned considerable reconstruction; the main north-south partition wall had been re-aligned, whilst reinforcement had proved necessary on the northern part of the east wall. Here the wall was found to be subsiding into the ditch, and one suspects that the reconstruction may have been necessitated by the collapse of the first building, due to inadequate foundations. The fact that such a site was chosen for a building, above a wide drainage ditch and hard by the fort ditch and wall, suggests that the settlement was crowded and that for that reason building-sites were not available outside its established limits, perhaps due to fort cemeteries and agricultural holdings. Associated finds suggested that this building had been erected in the mid-third century and abandoned in the mid-fourth, perhaps c. A.D. 368 on the Theodosian restoration of the fort, when there are grounds for believing that the vicus was abandoned and the surviving civilian population moved into the fort itself. The uniform height of the remaining walls and the comparative absence of fallen masonry argues for a systematic demolition of the building, probably because its presence obstructed the defences of the fort.

Spoiler: click to toggle
Figure 2

(c) Site III. South-east of the workshop there lay the remains of another building, so effectively dismantled that its original purpose could not be determined. It faced north-east and was some 40 ft. long, built of large blocks of masonry of a very different character from that of site II. Little stonework remained in the north-west wall, and the entire southwest wall had been stripped down to the foundations; of the remainder, there was no trace at all. From its general shape, with traces of an apse, one suspects that it may have been a temple, and its destruction would be assignable to the Theodosian restoration of the fort, as in the case of site II.

(d) Trial trenches were cut into the marshy ground towards the west end of the field, in the hope of locating the burial-ground reported by Hodgson in 1810, but apart from a few scraps of pottery nothing was found.

For a summary of earlier investigations at Vindolanda it may be convenient to refer to Eric Birley, Research on Hadrian's Wall (1961) 146f. and 184-188.

APPENDIX I

In April 1956 a short excavation, to determine the position of the ditch at the south-west angle of the fort, was rained off before any positive results had been obtained; but a coin that was found at a depth of 2 ft. deserves permanent record. It was originally identified by Mr. J. H. Corbitt, to whom thanks are due: Sestertius, in mint condition, of Diadumenianus (April 217 to June 218). Obv. M OPEL ANTONINVS DIADVMENIANVS CAES, head bare r., bust draped and cuirassed. Rev. PRINC IVVENTVTIS S.C., Diadumenian standing front, head r., holding standard and sceptre; on r., two standards. Mint of Rome. Cf. R.I.C. 211 (vol. iv, part ii, plate v, 13).

APPENDIX II

In September 1949 a short excavation established the position of the south ditch, a few yards east of the south gateway of the fort. The records of that excavation are no longer to hand, but a fine samian bowl, found beneath a flag on the northern lip of the ditch, deserves a record (cf. fig. 3); Professor Birley has contributed the following note upon it:

“Dr. 37, free-style decoration separated by a bold wavy line from an unusual ovolo, well shown in the drawing; its attribution to the potter PRIMANVS of Lezoux is permitted by the discovery of another bowl (still unpublished) at Piercebridge, Co. Durham, carrying that potter's stamp on the under side of the base and using the identical ovolo. But for the ovolo and the potter's stamp, the Piercebridge bowl would have been assigned without hesitation to the better-known Lezoux potter SERVVS or SERVIVS, for whom cf. Central Gaulish Potters 231 ff. with pl. 131. Fuller discussion must be reserved for another place; here it will suffice to note that SERVIVS was presumably proprietor of his business, PRIMANVS an employee; their period of production should belong to the closing decade or two of the second century, and the Chesterholm bowl may be taken to come from the destruction-level of A.D. 197, overlaid by a flag of the Severan reconstruction.”

Spoiler: click to toggle
Figure 3

Welcome to all!
Wanted to take a moment to say Welcome!! to all the new WeDig'ers who have joined in recent days. It's great to have you here. If you find a forum or thread you're interested in, please feel free to dive in and join the conversation. Or start a new one!

We Dig Vindolanda is always growing, and there's something for everyone.

As mentioned above, the Digger's Guide has a lot of resources for the new digger or fan.
Recaps of recent seasons, including pictures by fellow WeDig'ers, are here.
(Lots more pictures & stories from past seasons are here.)
If you want to find out (or tell us!) what's happening this season, visit the 2010 Digger's Journal.

There's much more, from fun pics & stories, to links, to antiquarian accounts & early excavation reports. Have a look, and again, welcome!

Area A. April / May 2010
Sounds like a brilliant week - thanks a bunch for the details Andy!

For folks orienting themselves, here are a couple mockups I did based on descriptions by MichaelH and Andy.

Michael's two pics of Day 1 seem to be about here (arrow shows location and direction of camera; yellow shows general area that had been uncovered):

Posted Image

Andy's description of the end of the week looks something like this, I believe:

Posted Image

Yellow is what seems to be the area uncovered; brown is the roadway (shame the flagstones are gone!); the structures are in dotted rectangles; and the drain is the dotted line at the bottom of the yellow area.

Is that about right?

2010 excavations forum
Welcome to WeDig, glad you had such a great week!

I'd love to see pics too! (And I have a hunch I'm not alone.) A bunch of new folks just signed up to WeDig in the past couple of days. Hopefully someone has photos from the first week that they'll share. For the moment MichaelH (a WeDig rock!) has a couple shots from the very first day.

Also, as a note to everyone -- anytime someone has pictures but is having any trouble getting them up to the site, always feel free to drop me an e-mail or private message; I'm more than happy to help.

The joys and pitfalls of studying Wall history
That's brilliant! Just ordered a copy, can't wait to see what tidbits are in there.

I think that's right about Thirlwall Castle. Looks like a local family took the local name of the Wall, then eventually knocked a mile of it down to build their own manor!

The joys and pitfalls of studying Wall history
Digging deeper into Wall history and eyewitness stories is fun. Maddening, but fun.

The fun comes from little gems like the following:

"...A Wall thare-efftyr ordanyt thai
For to be made betwene Scotland
And thame, swa that it mycht wythstand
Thare fays, that thame swa skayth[it] hade;
And it off comon cost thai maid;
And yhit men callys it Thryl Wal..."


That's possibly the earliest known mention of the Wall in English (medieval Scots-English, but still...). It comes from an epic poem on Scotland, "The Orygynale Cronykil," from one Andrew Wyntoun, c. 1400. Doesn't actually shed any light on the Wall -- it just takes Bede's story and rhymes it. But it's fascinating to see people studying & thinking about history far earlier than we tend to give them credit for.

There are earlier accounts too, from the 12th Century in the "Black Book of Hexham," in which charters mention the "Murus Romanorum" as parts of property boundaries. Again, fun -- to me!

But the names... that's the maddening bit. To truly study how long people have been talking about the Wall, you have to know what terms to look for. And it's not easy. In addition to "Murus Romanorum" and "Thrylwal" (meaning "Pierced Wall" -- maybe referring to the old milecastle gates which "pierced" the Wall every mile), I've uncovered:

The Wall of Severus, The Roman Wall,
Thirlwall, Thwertoner Dyke,
Pierced Wall, Picts Wall,
Pictes Wall, Pightes Wall,
Kepe Wall, Mursever,
Mur-sever, Gaul-sever,
Gal-sever, Bal,
Val, Murus Perforatus,
Vallum Aelium (Staffordshire Pan), Vallum Severi,
Hadrian's Vallum, and of course, Hadrian's Wall

At one point I was following leads for "Graham's Wall or "Grhames Wall" -- only to discover that these invariably refer to the Antonine Wall in Scotland. And then there's the fake De Situ Britanniae, which added the equally fake "Vallum Barbaricum," "Pretentatura," and "Claustra," among probably others, to the mix.

As an amateur who just likes learning this stuff, it's a great detective story. To the professionals who earn their living delving into ancient records to reveal to us something of our shared history, I tip my hat.

CBA & Andante Travel Archaeological Photo Contest
From WeDig's own Sophie Cringle, writing at the Council for British Archaeology's News page:

Archaeological Photo Competition 2010

Submitted by Sophie Cringle on Thu, 2010-04-01 12:01
Have you taken a stunning photo of an archaeological site? Would you like the chance to win a fabulous Canon EOS 500D digital SLR?

The Archaeological Photo Competition, sponsored by the Council for British Archaeology and Oxbow Books aims to encourage everyone to record the present day state of archaeological sites for future generations and help build up an archive of photos from all over the world.

The overall winner will receive a fabulous Canon EOS 500D digital SLR, the best in its class OR £500 off any Andante Travels holiday in 2011. The winner of the ‘Best of British Archaeology’ category, sponsored by the CBA, will win a selection of best-selling Practical Handbooks in archaeology, worth over £100. There will be other prizes worth around £100 each for the winners of each remaining category, sponsored by Oxbow Books.

The competition is organised by Andante Travels, ‘the experts in archaeological travel’. Andante Travels have been taking people on journeys through the ancient world for 25 years; introducing, engaging and interesting them in the story of mankind as told by the things they left behind. Your photographs will help to record the present day state of sites for future generations as we build up an archive of photos from all over the world. The competition is open to everyone, whether or not you have been on a holiday with Andante.

Categories

-- Big names of Archaeology – your best pictures of the big name sites e.g. Giza, Pompeii,
Machu Picchu. Prize sponsored by Oxbow Books.
-- People and Archaeology – your pictures of people interacting with archaeological sites -
talking about them, examining them, pondering on them, drawing .them….Prize sponsored by Oxbow Books
-- ‘Best of British Archaeology’ - Special Category for 2010. Prize sponsored by the
Council for British Archaeology.
-- Endangered Sites – your pictures of archaeology in danger: sea erosion, landslide,
building development or mass tourism.

How to enter

Choose up to 3 images per category
Send on CD or by email (no prints) to Andante Travels, The Old Barn, Old Road, Alderbury, Salisbury SP5 3AR.
Images must be over 1mb
Closing date - 31st May 2010

Small print: Photos will never be sold or used by anyone other than Andante Travels or our sponsors without the photographer’s permission. Photographs will be acknowledged and archived at Andante’s offices.

Visit Andante Travels website for more information.

The Ninth Cohort Of Batavians
Just happened to be rereading Tony Birley's "Garrison Life at Vindolanda" and found the Masclus passages (Tony says he also shows up as "Masculus" at least once). The Vindolanda tablet # is 1544. But I think that the tablets website uses a different numbering system -- just to make things simple! He does appear to be one of the Batavians, because he's writing to Cerialis as his commander when he's asking for the beer.

Hope that's of some help!

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