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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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Calendar find
Two great articles in one week, nice! I've added this one to the "Vindolanda in the News" page too so it'll always be front & center. Congrats again. Hoping it won't be too long before I can get over and admire it in the museum!

Vindolanda calendar is one of rarest finds
Original article can be found at: http://www.newsandstar.co.uk/1.213337

"Vindolanda calendar is one of rarest finds
By BRIAN TILLEY brian.tilley@hexham-courant.co.uk

Last updated 13:35, Thursday, 31 July 2008

ANOTHER glittering jewel has been added to the Roman treasure trove that is the Vindolanda fort at Bardon Mill.

Treasure trove: The extremely rare perpetual calendar unearthed at Vindolanda.Archaeologists excavating the massive twin granaries at the site have come across part of an object never found in Britain before – a Roman perpetual calendar.

The fragment, just eight centimetres long and made of bronze, features the month of September.

It has a line of punched holes, each representing two days.

The correct days are marked for the Kalends, (Kalendae) here abbreviated by a K, the first day of the month, followed by N for the Nones (Nonae) the 5th, and ID for the Ides (Idus) the 13th, as well as the autumn Equinox, the 23rd, here marked as AE, short for Aequinoctium.

The complete calendar would have been a portable circular disc, around 25 centimetres in diameter, and every two days a peg would have been moved into the next hole, so that the correct date could be read.

Director of Vindolanda Research, Robin Birley, was astonished by the find.

He said: “I had always wondered how the soldiers could keep track of dates, without the benefit of daily newspapers and diaries.

“In the larger towns and cities, a calendar would be inscribed or painted on to the side of a building, but without some method of indicating the passing of days it could have been somewhat confusing.

“The army system of a portable calendar, like the Vindolanda example, was brilliantly simple – as long as the clerk responsible for moving the pegs every two days did his job properly.”

This calendar is the only example to be found in Britain so far and, as far as is known, none have been found in other parts of what was the Roman Empire.

The Vindolanda Trust’s director of excavations, Andrew Birley, commented: “This is an extraordinary find, and it ranks with the famous writing tablets as one of the rarest objects ever found at Vindolanda.”

The calendar will be exhibited at the Vindolanda museum this autumn when conservation is completed in the museum laboratory.

Even though Julius Caesar reformed the calendar in 46BC, neither he nor anyone else simplified their archaic system of naming the days of the month.

There were three fixed points. The Kalends were so called because on the first, the times of the Nones and various festivals were “called out”.

The Ides got their name from being at the middle or dividing point of the month, and the Nones from being the ninth day before the Ides.

To complicate matters further, although the Nones were on the fifth of the month for eight months out of 12, they were on the seventh in March, May, July and October — because in those months the Ides had to be on the 15th instead of the 13th.

Dates between the Kalends and Nones, Nones and Ides and Ides and the next Kalends had to be calculated backwards.

Vindolanda is one of the most exciting sites along Hadrian’s Wall with its wealth of archaeological remains and ongoing excavations.

Excavations with a large contingent of volunteers drawn from all over the world will continue every day until mid-September (weather permitting).

For further information visit www.vindolanda.com or telephone (01434) 344277."

Calendar find
Holy smokes!

I'm giddy from 3000 miles away. That is a -seriously- incredible find! First one in Britain, and maybe the Roman world??? Huge congrats!!

I've posted the article in the Courant in the "Vindolanda in the Media" section, thanks tons for that link Bryan. That's a piece of news that deserves to get noticed.

Roman Calendar Find a Day to Remember!
Original article can be found at: http://www.hexhamcourant.co.uk/1.210333

Roman calendar find a day to remember!
By Pam McClounie

Last updated 09:20, Saturday, 26 July 2008

ARCHAEOLOGISTS excavating the massive twin fort granaries at Vindolanda have come across part of an object never found in Britain before – a Roman perpetual calendar.

Fascinating fragment: The Roman perpetual calendar found at Vindolanda The fragment, which is eight centimetres long and made of bronze, features the month of September, with a line of punched holes each representing two days.

The complete calendar would have been a portable circular disc, around 25 centimetres in diameter, and every two days a peg would be moved into the next hole, so that the correct date could be read.

Robin Birley, director of Vindolanda Research, was astonished by the find.

He said: “I had always wondered how the soldiers could keep track of dates, without the benefit of daily newspapers and diaries.

“In the larger towns and cities, a calendar would be inscribed or painted onto the side of a building, but without some method of indicating the passing of days it could have been somewhat confusing.

“The army system of a portable calendar, like the Vindolanda example, was brilliantly simple – as long as the clerk responsible for moving the pegs every two days did his job properly.”

This calendar is the only example to be found in Britain so far and, as far as it is known, none have been found in other parts of the old Roman Empire.

Andrew Birley, the Vindolanda Trust’s director of excavations, said: “This is an extraordinary find, and it ranks with the famous writing tablets as one of the rarest objects ever found at Vindolanda.”

The calendar will be exhibited at the museum at Vindolanda, close to Hadrian’s Wall, this autumn when conservation is completed.

The find comes in the same week that this summer’s blockbuster exhibition – Hadrian: Empire and Conflict – opened at the British Museum in London.

For more information visit www.vindolanda.com or call 01434 344277.

Justin's wee Diggers
This one is the clear winner:

Posted Image

I'm sensing a -fabulous- caption contest here. Such as, "Real archaeologists know how to delegate."

Caption Fun 2008
Ooh, two classic shots.

Bry: "I'm a granary rat!"
Rosie: "Oh dear... far too much cider..."

Granaries
ANTHEA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You've graced us on the forums once again!!!!

I'm so bummed to have missed your lovely hair two seasons in a row now. But I've been enjoying all the updates you've sent, as well as all the candid shots from various posters here. B)

So have you bought that dilapidated farmhouse near Crindledykes yet? :D Heaven help the Twicey Quiz if you did; nobody else would ever be able to secure second place again!

Two vicus questions for anyone in the know
Hey all. Wondering if anyone can shed light on a couple things. First, did the western ditch outside SF II get completely backfilled and built over at some point? I remember digging within a vicus building with Sandy a few years ago that was built on the infilled ditch. If the whole thing got infilled, does that say something about what the army thought of the chances of attack?

Also, do I remember right that the vicus died out near the end of the 3rd C? Did that have anything to do with Carausius pulling away Wall troops? (Is it even possible for the archaeology to say yea/nay to that?) I could see vacancies within a walled fort suddenly looking very appealing when half the garrison defending you has up and vanished. Was the death of the vicus gradual or all at once? And why didn't the army recut a ditch outside the fort for protection afterward?

Eagerly awaiting insight!

Granaries
Unbelievable! The flagstones still holding true and everything. Great pics.

And are you suggesting Anthea is older than dirt?? Might have to drop an anonymous e-mail or two.

Caption Fun 2008
Chris: "Hrm. Seems there's a pothole here."
Alex: "I think Andy's chatting me up. Hrm. I could do worse..."

Antonine Wall now a UNESCO World Heritage Site
In case you missed the news, on 7 July UNESCO formally added the Antonine Wall in Scotland as a World Heritage Site. Congrats to all who rallied for the cause.

On Hadrian's death, the new emperor Antoninus Pius decided he needed to do something fab to gain "street cred." What does an emperor do? Conquer, of course. He pushed Roman legions up into Scotland, where he erected a new frontier, stretching 39 miles from Bo'ness to Old Kilpatrick (roughly the line of modern Edinburgh to Glasgow).

Unfortunately his hubris didn't outlast him. On Antoninus's death in 161 AD, the Romans decided that Scotland wasn't working for them, so they moved (retreated?) back south and refortified/manned Hadrian's Wall again, for good. After 161 Hadrian's Wall marked the northern limits of full Roman authority in Britain until the end of Roman Britain.

The Antonine Wall was always a turf & timber work, and thus doesn't give the same spectacle as the gorgeous stonework that survives along Hadrian's Wall. But in many places its ditch & ramparts (and even some fortlets) are extremely well-preserved. It's also interesting to see how ideas they tried at Hadrian's Wall did or didn't get repeated on the Antonine Wall. (No Vallum up there for one thing.)

The link above has a link of its own to an excellent guide to the Wall from Falkirk Council. Worth a look for any Wall buffs.

Fundraising Possibility
Congrats Sue! If the commute hadn't been so far, I'd have loved to have participated this year. :D

Happy 4th!!
Happy Independence Day, all fellow rebels against HRM!

Take heart, friends across the Pond. After all, in our part of the world you still own the British Virgin Islands, Bermuda, the Caymans, Turks & Caicos, Anguilla, and Montserrat (whose land mass I gather has grown since the volcano; score).

Take more heart. You -did- manage to burn our White House once.

New Roman Finds From Britain
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Roman grey squirrel exerting its dominance.