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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 13
Excellent choice for a password! Crazy days; to think that the very next day everyone was hard at work again. Fabulous.

Following are snowglobe's last three pics from the end of Wk 13:

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"After the deluge yesterday the sun was back out again and we have a new lake at twice brewed just under Windshields! Photo looking west towards Cawfields section of Vallum."

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"The north field looking east as we finished today our section at the back showing a nice section. If the weather holds next weeks diggers should have a busy week."

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"Very good natured bunch who as always with Vindolanda diggers have put up with bad weather and still come up smiling. Mud has played a big part this season."

A huge thanks to you Pete for all the pics and details across so many weeks. It's really helped bring the story of 2012 to life! Hope the momentum continues -- and the rain finally gives it a rest.

Vindolanda's earliest fort
The huge ditch (ditches?) found in the North Field this year are creating a buzz. The earliest known settlement at Vindolanda comes from about AD 85. But it's just possible that Agricola came through some years before and set up shop.

Follow this link for the evidence & the backstory. It involves a remarkably early fort at Carlisle, and a 13-mile-long earthwork known as "The Black Dyke."

Things that make you go hmmmmm...

Week 13
Amen Tim. Here's a time-lapse video of the storm first hitting Newcastle. Just a wall of water:



Amazingly, Justin's recent tweet shows the trenches back & open for business today! Hat's off to the staff & volunteers, you guys are all hardcore!

Week 13
Perhaps the Mayans were on to something?

Week 13
Newcastle city-centre:

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Hope everybody's homes -- and selves -- in the area are OK!

Week 13
Some stunning pics this morning of floods in downtown Newcastle. And a report that the Vindo museum nearly flooded yesterday, held back by the quick work of the brave staff. Will post Newcastle pic when I get nr comp and off phone.

Week 13
Belated pics from snowglobe!

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"A view out of the diggers hut this afternoon!"

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"Running to grab tools in the downpour" (deturfing between 4b & 4c)

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"First thing this morning, bailing and mud clearance but rain returned"

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"No need to use a tap to clean hands this afternoon."

Week 13
A few shots from snowglobe on-site are coming soon.

In the meantime, a video-capture of a lightning strike hitting the Tyne Bridge in Newcastle this morning. Yikes!
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(whole video here)

Vindolanda FIeld School blog
That's a great blog entry today! Those look like some serious ditches, with serious "stuff" coming out. So many questions -- probably none of which have public answers yet. Was it a roadside ditch for the E/W road to the north? Was it earlier? To my mostly untrained eye, the pottery in the black bin looks later, 2nd C & on. The chunk of samian looks like that light-orange stuff that I think of as late work. But who knows?? Vindolanda just goes on & on & on.

Week 13
The story so far:

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Week 13
This morning's batch from a waterlogged snowglobe!

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"Got a mornings work in but constant heavy drizzle after a night of rain put a stop to things by noon."

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"A view today of the drain that appears to run from the water tank."

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"Earlier today plenty of organics coming from the ditch, test trench top right showing black ditch silt, same ditch or double ditch?"

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"Badly messed up picture with a wall showing centre left, well feature Centre and the road running top left across the blue pipe, note ice cream kiosk window top centre, god loves an optimist!"

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"Looking north east (to the diggers shed) the tank resumes its task after 1800 years"

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"Another of my panoramic shots looking east, no Barcombe hill today."

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"Looking south from the diggers hut"
(larger version available here)

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"Very muddy up in the north field, ice creams this year are great even in the rain"

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"Looking east over the water tank"

Week 13
mooseandhobbes
Jun 27 2012, 07:52 AM
I've just seen Justin's tweet. Rained off again. The weather webcams tell a sorry tale :'(


Holy wow! The Winshields one is nothing but a big ball of gray. The other two little better. :(

Week 13
Justin-T
Jun 26 2012, 11:10 AM
"...Wouldn't that just get it "dirty" again?
If the stone lining was nice & tight when it was first laid down, and capped well, I bet water could get through it nicely without picking up much "gunk" at least along the 100 yards or so til its destination. The natural clay there on site doesn't get scooped up too easily by flowing water. Sand would, but clay kind of wants to stay put once it's packed down into the ground.

And how cool is that, Sunny, that there are still signs of how they used to do it all??

Week 13
Or could this have been a settling tank? If the springwater coming in from higher up was loaded with sediment, maybe a tank in the ground like this would settle out some of it, making it cleaner & clearer going on. Did Romans do that?

Area of Excavations 2012
END of WEEK 11
(June 11 - June 15)

Ditches, drains, pits, and a rectilinear stone feature!!

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(Wider shot to put location in context here)

As the wet weather inundated older trenches, work shifted ever upward & westward to find dry ground to work. And to try to find the springs that have been a source of squidgy feet at Vindolanda for 1900 years!

Sites 7 & 8 were expanded both east and west. No news of what was found in the eastward expansion. However, in the west of area 8 a new set of very large & sturdy drains came to light, one with a lovely curve to it. (Visible as a black line & black curve on the plan above -- Note: This, as all features shown on the plans, is only a rough approximation, meant to orient people on site.)

More exciting was the well-laid rectangular stone "something" that was found in the west of area 7. Early days and no clear idea its purpose. But clearly a focus going forward into Week 12.

Across in the North Field (not on plan), the ground was filled with stains showing "ghost" ditches & features. A wall or line of rubble running east-west was removed, and underneath was a well-laid stone drain system. A ditch running from the west met the drain system at a deep pit -- a possible water collection point?

Sadly Friday the deluge came and work was cut short.

Many thanks to Rosie & SophieDobson for the updates, which can be found here, and Justin as always for the tweets & pics!

Week 13
As promised, snowglobe's shots:

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"Work continues in the north field, an early start by the students to bail the trenches much appreciated. A full day was completed and the possible roman ditch running centre through the photo is being defined. Alex breached a pocket of water higher up the site and it poured beautifully through the drain on the left."

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"Another view looking east down the line of the roman ditch"

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"Back in Vicus the water tank is continuing to be exposed in the centre of the photo, some water in the trenches but work is moving on a pace, plenty of new de turfing." (Site "7" on the weekly plans, standing on western edge looking east)

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"Looking west towards the ticket office a nice drain is appearing right along the road way. Bottom left is the well feature mentioned by Justin. A very mixed up picture."

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"An overview of the trench, Andy on pump duty. Water tank centre right." (Standing at NW corner of site "7" on plans, looking SE)

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"Water management keeping the flooding at bay." (Site "5" on plans, SW corner, looking NE)

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"Just a close up of the feature, nice stonework."

Thanks Pete!

Vindolanda FIeld School blog
Very cool video! The waterfall is sobering. What a year.

Week 13
The Web cams on the How's the Weather? page look puddly and grim. How are the trenches today? Anything happening?

Area of Excavations 2012
END of WEEK 10
(June 4 - June 8)

Rain, puddles, midges, a beaten-up stone cistern, ditches, cobbling, and drains
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(Wider shot to put location in context here)

Week 10 saw the breakup of diggers between the main site (in the plan above) and the North Field across the Stanegate (not in the plan).

In the main site, diggers continued to trowel back the multiple N/S drains/culverts in area 5 on the plan. The SW corner of area 5 revealed a rubbly line of unfaced stones running NE/SW. Excavation continued in the very deep & gloopy levels of 4b to study the large defensive N/S ditch (ditches?). And down at 4c, outside the SE corner of the storehouse known officially as "Site XI," diggers uncovered what appears to be the bashed-up remains of a cistern or water tank. Not clear if the two were in use at the same time?

On the west of the main site, areas 7/8 got more attention, spreading ever wider to follow features & search for the springs that fed the Roman aqueducts. A rather rough-looking drain (or drains) appeared in the middle of the large trench, running vaguely E-W.

Across the Stanegate, students from University of Western Ontario joined volunteers to begin excavating the North Field, following features first noticed from aerial photos and geophysical surveys. Areas of cobbling, apparent drains/ditches, and odd assortments of stone started appearing in the ground. This area saw much activity in the 19th Century, and early finds were peppered with Victorian pottery among Roman work. A great overview of the work going on in the North Field can be found at the Western Classical Studies blog.

Many thanks this week to Terry S for great photos & background on what was happening in the trenches!

Week 12
snowglobe's last set of pics say it all:

First, two from a very brief Thursday:
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"Hi, terrible weather here but an hour of digging was completed. Alex removing the iron stone Block using surgical techniques!"

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"Hi, the site this afternoon, rain may be slowing down ?"

It wasn't slowing down. Two from this morning.
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"Hi my walk down the stane gate to the site this morning was a wet one, all called off and goodbyes said, hopefully will get some photos next week. Seems they are on the verge of cracking the water source on site. Two more water tanks appearing, now underwater."

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"Hi,the burn is running fast and may convert the Vindolanda temple into an aquarium?"

Well, the new water tanks sound exciting! My guess is that right about now, they're full.

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