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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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Week 9
Maybe everything should just be "4-something" from here on out. I like that!

Love the pics, especially:

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I got those 3 drains/ditches right, right? (For those keeping track, this is standing in the north of 4a at the western edge of the aqueduct; looking south into what's becoming 4d.)

Were these defenses at all? Or just basic drains/water channels for the early forts?

Week 9
Justin, I'm intrigued by that idea. I admit, it -would- be nice to have something that's standard from year to year and that WeDig'ers would like to use. Take out a lot of the guesswork and head-scratching about how to relate pictures to maps/plans. Interested to hear what other folks say.

Week 9
If it's helpful, here's a closeup showing Badger's terms for the areas during Wk 6-7.

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(In fact, I might switch to using a closer-up plan like this for future weeks. Thoughts?)

Week 9
With all the overlap of features, nicknames could get really nutty too. "This is a picture of 'Post House' which a few weeks ago was known as 'Cobbled Alley' which back early in the year was 'Colonial Corner' -- no, not that one, there's new colonials down in the western side now -- which was once the eastern side of 4a"!

But I'm certainly open to trying things that work the best for the most folks. The very least I can do is try to get caught up with the site plans and have a map/plan handy for each week. Here's a provisional one for how I understand things on the ground this wk. Will surely change at least around the edges, but a decent start:

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Area of Excavations 2012
END of WEEK 7
(May 14 - May 18)

A full week of digging! New trenches, new walls, and a top-tier find.

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First, a little catch-up on site numbering. I never know how the year will progress, so numbering systems that start great may, well, fail later on. I know this one's not the best. Still, the idea is to be able to relate an area-ish of the site with descriptions/pictures of what's being found. And I think this system still works for that. So:

* 4a is the aqueduct, the whole north & NW of it, and the immediate south.
* 4b is the area of the N/S road and the side-by-side N/S ditches.
* 4c blessedly is still self-contained.
* 4d is the area to the south / SW of the aqueduct.

Obviously the borders of these are open to interpretation and kind of fluid. But it's at least an idea.

So, Week 7. During this week, the beautiful north/south roadway was largely left alone, with activity shifting further west. Immediately west, in 4b crews worked to define the edge of the road and drop into the confusing earlier multiple N/S ditches next to it. The lower levels were black & gloopy, but sadly few well-preserved finds were coming out. In the NE corner of 4a, more crews worked to trace the northern run of the same ditches.

Also in 4a, immediately north of the aqueduct an earlier substantial wall began to show up. Period unknown, and relation to both aqueduct and the (presumably earlier) ditch it sat in also unknown.

Much work was done on the southern end of 4a, with crews tracing ephemeral features. Not many finds coming up, except for the beginnings of a cobbled surface where 4a and 4d meet.

New trenches (7a-c) were opened at the far west, trying to trace the path of the vicus aqueduct and find the ultimate source. However, instead it was discovered that parts of this path had already been excavated in the past (probably the 1930s), with nothing recorded. Though the water source wasn't found, the immense amount of groundwater did quickly turn 7a into a bathtub, and efforts shifted to 7b & c. By the end of the week, vaguely rectilinear stonework was peeking out of the western corner of 7c, though it looked like foundation stones at best.

Finds this week were relatively few, but included an animal-footprint-stamped tile, samian pottery, glass bead, chunks of lead, cooking pot bits, a coin, part of a bottle top from the 1920s/30s, an intact horse skull, the bottom of an amphora, and.... the first writing tablet of the 2012 season! A very thick piece of wood, not standard writing tablet fare. But reports from the conservation lab said "visible writing seen"!

So it sounds like a good week. Huge thanks to Badger for the pics & updates, all of which can be seen at the Week 7 page.

Week 9
Yeah. I'm looking at doing the Wk 7 end-of-week update right now, and scratching my head.

Fighting the flooding made it tricky to start. And now of course the vicus is being the vicus. There's features overlaid, running across each other... new trenches start in one place and then morph back toward older ones.

For the moment, will just plow ahead with current system. It's wildly imperfect, but at least can get eyes sort-of focused on what's happening where.

Week 9
Best typo ever!

Also, a heads-up. As you probably saw from Justin's tweet this morning, the North Field is being opened again. In past years, WeDig'ers were asked not to discuss North Field work. That's been relaxed a bit for 2012. I won't be marking North Field trenches on maps/plans, but Andy says that WeDig'ers can post what's going on -- following the same rules as the other trenches. Keep in mind that the North Field lies outside Vindolanda's walls and site security is always an issue. But with that, happy digging & posting!

Internet speed/technology reality check
Great news, and thanks much to all for the responses. Glad it's working so well.

Week 9
Placeholder for the new week. What's happening??

Internet speed/technology reality check
Hi all. This year has been amazing for the amount of photos coming in. For the ones posted directly into the forums, I've been trying to crop & down-size them. I want to make sure that (1) they're viewable and (2) they don't take forever to download.

How's it working? Is everybody able to download, view, see these pictures OK? Or are they too big/taking too long?

Week 8
A final roundup from Scott/sarcanon. What a week it must have been!

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'A blue glass melon bead, fully intact, excavated by Lisa V (Corieltauvia)'

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'Wall in northern part of 4a, facing south'

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'Same, a little further to east, where continuation of wall is being uncovered by Graham. Justin and Andy and pretty certain this wall continues underneath the path into the area on the east side.' (That's quite a wall! What on earth was it for?)

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'Same feature, facing west'

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'4b, facing north'

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'4c [from southern extension] facing north-northwest, showing second drain [entering into the n/s road drain]'

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'Southern side of 4a, with newly exposed road heading northwest. To (and from) where are yet to be determined.'

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'The Canadians (Kathryn, Kieran, Drew, and Erin) worshiping at the 'something' they uncovered in the intersection of 7b and 7c'

Keep this pace up & they'll be opening trenches in the parking lot by August! Thanks so much for all the pictures & updates. Looks like it was an amazing week on site.

Area of Excavations 2012
END of WEEK 6
(May 7 - May 11)

A week that started wet and ended wet but still gave diggers many dividends, opened up new swaths of territory, and provided the required head-scratchers.

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Week 6 moved all the rest of the energy to the west of the visitors' pathway. Site 4a was extended southward. And site 4b was extended west. Some diggers continued exposing and tidying the N/S vicus road and its drains. Others worked in a series of confusing north/south trenches. The battle against incoming groundwater meant the digging of many deep sumps to stay ahead of Mother Nature. By midweek anaerobic conditions had been reached and intact wood and leather was starting to show up. Sadly a late Wednesday deluge wiped out most of the rest of the week.

Still, it was a good week for finds. A tile stamped with a pawprint, a lead phallus, a half-legible script written on the side of a brick, a lead plug to an amphora, beads, a glass perfume bottle, figured samian ware, barrel staves. Also the usual vicus enigmas -- walls where they shouldn't be, ditches running into or over each other. And a guided tour up Barcombe Hill one evening.

By week's end the vicus road looked great, the earlier n/s ditches just to its west were coming into focus, and the relation between the vicus aqueduct and the stone causeway under it were becoming at least a bit more clear.

Many thanks to snowglobe, Badger, and Brinno for the updates & pictures, all of which can be seen here.

Week 8
One more set of pictures from sarcanon showing what a week of sunny weather can do!

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Site 4a, looking south -- the huge wall under the later aqueduct keeps going down; 5 courses visible in this pic

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Site 4a, looking east -- the older wall also runs quite a way; what is that, at least 15-20 ft exposed?

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Recently uncovered bit of southern edge of 4a/4b, looking east -- the diagonal-running roadway in Justin's tweets. (I will have to rethink my trench numbering scheme for sure.)

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Site 7b/c, looking north -- the baulk between coming down and the trench opening wider

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The southern extension of 4a/4b, looking north -- the diagonal road in foreground, the natural clay subsoil with scratch-marks behind, then the vicus aqueduct overall. Is it just me, or does that road look lower/earlier than the level of the aqueduct?

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Site 4b from the south looking north along the two side-by-side Antonine ditches; N/S vicus roadway visible on right.

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Site 4b/a from east looking west. How do those -massive- "causeway" stones under the aqueduct relate with the massive wall being uncovered to the right (north) of the aqueduct?

Neat stuff this year.

Temple Avenue progression
Cheers to Pete/snowglobe for a great shot looking up "Temple Avenue" from within the visible fort, as seen today. Quite a difference from last year's cobbles & clay!

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Week 8
And another fab set of pictures came via email from Scott/sarcanon this evening.

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Site 4a looking south, the big honkin' wall uncovered by Scott & Graham

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Site 4a facing south-east. Andy, Justin, Pete (snowglobe), and Dana look on

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Newly deturfed section of southern 4a, starting to descend

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Site 7c, opening up (site 7b appearing to be near to merging with it). That rectilinear "thing" seems to have 3 sides on it -- 4th long gone.

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Site 4b, facing north, showing the two side-by-side Antonine ditches

An embarrassment of riches this year, and it's wonderful! Thanks to snowglobe & sarcanon for all of these.

Week 8
Wow. Love it!

You know, there's something very cool about that massive stone wall being found in the ditch(es) by the north side of the aqueduct. It doesn't seem to be subsiding at all into the backfilled muck. At least not from the photos. Does that mean that was built at the same time as the ditch system? Or that it was later but was just surprisingly well built so it didn't settle?

2012 Excavation Season Group Photographs
And Week 7 courtesy of Andy, visible at this link!

2012 Excavation Season Group Photographs
And Week 6 from Andy at this link.

2012 Excavation Season Group Photographs
Week 5 pic from Andy here!

2012 Excavation Season Group Photographs
Week 4 pic from Andy here!

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