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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!

RIP Mick Aston
His crazy hair and crazier sweaters and ebullience will be missed. The early Time Teams that they used to broadcast in the US ~12 years ago are what first really fueled my love of both archaeology & the English landscape.

Nighthawk Deterrent
For those of you who use FaceBook, the "Northumberland" FB page is full of amazing pictures of the whole region.

This photo from them today made me think, maybe Vindolanda needs a few of these posted around the borders:
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Would probably cut down the midnight metal-detectors!

Session 6
Another fantastic video blog posted today by Justin. Gives a nice overview (from the spoilheap) of all the first half of the season. http://vindolanda.blogspot.com/2013/06/week-12-video-blog.html

It looks, from Justin's description, like the late walls that I marked in blue on this latest unofficial/orientation plan are indeed from a very late building, put up after the 3rd and 4th C buildings had been demolished. Post-Roman life just all over the old fort, it seems.

Such a great story, and such a great place.

Spotlight On...
Jun 20 2013, 11:32 AM
Wow, Harry! I was looking at that article only yesterday!
Spooky! I swear I didn't know. :) Was talking with a friend on FB today and got thinking of all the old years. So much amazing stuff coming up year after year.

Spotlight On...
Hard to believe WeDig has been documenting diggers in Vindolanda's trenches since 2007! Here's a trip down memory lane. Check out the write-up at the end of the 2008 digging season. (Before Twitter!! :o ) Photos picked from WeDig'ers just like you.


Anyone else still seeing Justin's Twitter feed?
Fiona D
Jun 17 2013, 04:15 PM
Hi Harry - I'm still not seeing Justin's twitter feed - do I need to reset something?
Hey Fiona. Hmm... It only is meant to show up on the "Digger's Journal & Excavation Photos 2013" page -- is it missing for you from that page too? If so, hopefully it would be as simple a fix as turning off the browser and starting it up again -- or clicking the "Reload this page" button (or equivalent).

Anyone else still seeing Justin's Twitter feed?
There. Have added a new set of code in, and it seems to working well on my screen. How does it look to all of you?

Anyone else still seeing Justin's Twitter feed?
Thx all. Let me look into it. Twitter might have changed their "embed" code.

Session 6
Another great batch from Terry & Pauline last night. Terry writes: "Todays pix reflect the end of a busy and productive week. Despite dire weather forecasts, no time was lost to the infrequent rain. Excavators from all the sites were rotated in pairs to pot/bone/artefact washing for half a day. Myself, Pauline and Helen spent this week sorting, weighing, counting, recording and bagging washed artefacts. I'll be back digging next week. The area around the aqueduct is being grass seeded. As the excavations move south in the fort, the spoil heap will be removed shortly."

First, a couple shots of the extensive ditch systems being traced in the North Field:
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Back to the main fort:
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Terry talking shop in shorts

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The western edge of the trench, from the south looking north, being excavated west to trace the long 4th C wall etc.

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Eastern edge, also from south looking north, showing excavation on top of the old rampart

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From southeastern edge looking west over a very complicated scene

Link to more & bigger photos here

Anyone else still seeing Justin's Twitter feed?
I'm not seeing Justin's Twitter feed at the top of the excavation pages. Is it a hiccup on my system -- is everyone else still seeing it? Or has something gotten borked?

- Harry

Session 6
Another nice set of shots from Terry & Pauline for Tuesday (my apologies for lateness in getting them posted!). Pauline writes: "Diggers had a cooler day generally with some rain though it wasn't bad enough to stop digging. We made inroads on the malted milk biscuits over a rainy lunchbreak. In the fine old traditions of the British weather in June it looks as if the rest of the week will be cooler and rainy. A Belgian film crew arrived during the morning and interviewed Andy. They talked to Sarah from the Canadian Field School and Lynda as well."

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The western end of the fort trench, looking south, showing expansion westward chasing the huge 4th C east-west wall/bldg

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The eastern end of the fort trench, also looking south, chasing the 3rd C intervallum road, plus the 4th & 5th (and 6th?) C remains on top

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Barad Dur rising

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A nice shot from the southeast corner looking westward across the more recently-exposed area -- including the gaping robber trench in the distance

As always, more & higher-res photos here! Thanks much!

Session 6
The above is just a small sampling of Terry & Pauline's photos. The full set can be found at http://opa.cig2.canon-europe.com/s/m/CVP2Q3LpZWu. It includes more shots of the restored aquaduct, as well as photos of the North Field team tracing & uncovering ditches. Lots of neat stuff.

Session 6
Terry & Pauline are back onsite for the first week of this session, with more photos & stories. From Monday:

"We're at Vindolanda all week for finds processing. Kate is training diggers to sort and begin processing finds. Today Helen, Terry and I sorted out some trays of washed finds into various bone, glass, nail, amphora, mortaria, coarse ware, fine ware and black burnished ware categories then counted and weighed them before bagging them up for further work to be done on them. Kate is putting the details of this work onto a spreadsheet which shows what's coming out on site in all areas and will be available for research purposes. We had a few doubts as to which ones were black burnished and which were coarse ware as some pieces look very like each other in indeterminate shades of grey and sort-of-black but we're getting there! The idea is that we'll also help with the pot washing groups.... The council have decided to mend the Stanegate so roadworks are now due. The road's in a very bad state with all the flash flooding and rain that we've been having over the past couple of years so this will come as a big relief all round."

And a sample of the photos:

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Prepping to backfill the last of 2012's vicus trenches.

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This year's excavation, standing on the far west side looking east

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Kate directing; and a good view of how shallow/deep some of the layers are

Spotlight On...
Reviving the old "Spotlight On..." series. WeDig has grown over the years into a big resource. Sometimes it's easy to miss some of the cool nooks & crannies. "Spotlight On..." tries to point them out from time to time.

A few years back I put together a little page on the types of common artefacts you may find in the 3rd/4th Century layers. Seems like something that could be useful / fun for a lot of potwashing this season too!


Area of Excavations 2013
I've been watching & enjoying the season unfold. The archaeology coming up is just crazy! What's clear is that the southeast section of Vindolanda was a -hive- of activity for hundreds of years, including well after the end of the Roman era. And there's so many layers sandwiched on top of each other! Hat's off to Andy, Justin, and everyone dedicated to making sense of it all.

I've hesitated to put up any kind of site plan because of the complexity. But after 10 weeks it seemed a good idea to update. If only to get a few ideas & questions going.

So, here's what I'm understanding from the great official video blogs as well as WeDig'ers characteristically awesome photos/updates.

*** Again, major disclaimer -- this is unofficial. This is a layman having fun & trying to make a little sense of on-the-ground stuff to help orient diggers ***

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(wider shot here)

There are many, many layers sandwiched on top of each other.

Earliest are the walls in black, and the yellow roadways. Those seem, according to Justin et al, to be 3rd Century walls, built when Stone Fort II was first raised in AD 213. Instead of running north-south like all other 3rd C Vindolanda buildings, these are pretty clearly running east-west. What are they? Time will tell.

On top of the 3rd C material lie the huge east-west 4th C building(s), with walls in purple, and areas of flagstones also in lighter purple. It seems that the 3rd C buildings were pretty well annihilated when the 4th C ones were put up. This area of the fort changed significantly from 3rd to 4th.

The walls marked in blue are my big question mark. These represent some of the highest-standing walls found so far this year, and thus were probably among the latest/most recently-used structures. But I'm confused from the blogs, etc. whether these are supposed to be part of the HUGE east-west 4th C building, or if they're a later 4th C building put up inside the footprint of the early-4th C building. Or if they're post-Roman. Anyone have insight??

Beyond the blue walls, the north-south wall in red, and the patch of light red flagstone south of it, are clearly post-Roman work. They lie on top of what had been the intervallum road just inside the fort's eastern wall. Andy suggests in a video maybe as late as the 6th C. From Justin's latest video, the flagstone sits clearly way above the 4th C material, making it probably much later.

The brown patch is the huge robber trench that destroyed such a wide swath of the late material. :(

OK. So that's what I'm seeing. Please, tell me what's right & wrong. What's known & not. This is an exciting year!

Weather conditions so far
Looks just stunning. Thanks so much for all the pics Sue!

Dere st road trip
The Dere Street pilgrimage is one of my must-do's. So many forts up & down, and I love the idea of the outpost forts beyond the Wall. Seem like such lonely places, even today.

Session 6
Placeholder for what's happening during the next two weeks. Thanks to all for pics & updates so far. Let's see what's happening as spring turns toward summer!

- Harry

Session 5
Looking at Justin's great Twitter photo of the robber trench: https://twitter.com/LucoAD99/status/341588479496552448/photo/1

Doesn't that look an awful lot like a house/cottage footprint? Are there any post-holes or post-Reformation pottery coming out of there? Or is it just a random, square, dug-out hole?

Escomb Saxon Church
Beautiful photos! It really is a must-see. 1300 years old and going strong!

To think, at one point in the 19th C it was almost going to be knocked down.