Welcome Guest [Log In] [Register]

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!

Area A Late July-Early Aug
Wonder if it was a later drain. After the Antonine fort was levelled, the old fort platform became home to dozens (hundreds?) of "roundhouses" aligned in east-west rows. (This was during the short, and weird, Severan period.) And if I remember right, they had east-west drains associated with them. Maybe that gap was from the Severan handiwork?

Area A Late July-Early Aug
Ooh, naughty indeed Sandy! It'll be interesting to see if & as more of the Antonine building comes to light.

Lesley, thanks again for the fabulous shot! Here is a condensed version:

Posted Image

For those trying to put it in context, here is the location of the wall (the thick line) & direction of the camera:

Posted Image

My attempt at an understanding:

Lesley's picture shows multiple periods of the fort, spanning about 150 years of activity. The beautiful wall is from the Antonine period at Vindolanda -- mid-to-late 2nd Century, also known as "Stone Fort I." (The building that this wall was part of stood to the left; a roadway to the right.) The Antonine fort was about the same dimensions as the currently visible fort ("Stone Fort II"), with a few tweaks. It survived for several decades, til it was completely obliterated to the ground about AD 208 in the odd Severan period. Then Stone Fort II was built on top of the old leveled Stone Fort I in about AD 213.

The wall in the picture was located directly underneath the visible fort's via praetoria -- the beautifully flagged main road that ran straight from the HQ in the center of the fort out the north gate. This was expected, because in the 1930's Eric Birley discovered that the Antonine HQ was several feet east of its successor -- so any roads and buildings around it would have been shifted east too. In fact, to the right of the picture you can see the cobblestones of the Antonine roadway emerging.

Posted Image

In the color-coding above, blue is obviously the wall, green is the cobbled Antonine roadway, and red would have been inside the building.

The Antonine HQ faced south, suggesting that the "nicest" road out of the Antonine fort would have faced south too. This seems to be supported by the Antonine road showing up in this picture, which seems to be made of just ordinary cobblestones, nothing fancy.

Andy, how'd I do? :D

"Grace20" spammer
Just got a great piece of code from another user that should help alleviate this. As long as you have JavaScript enabled (which is generally the case), the message should now just read "This message has been removed."

Also, to anyone who wants to delete PMs (spam or not), it's a two-step process. (No idea why they did it that way.) First, you "Archive" the PM(s) you want to delete. Then you can go into the archive and permanently delete them.

A pretty Neanderthal system, which will hopefully be improved. But at least it's something.

- Harry

"Grace20" spammer
Still no answer from the forum developers on how to purge "Grace20"s messages. Apologies to all who are logging in and still seeing that PM. This is unacceptable, I know. And I'm still hoping there's a solution to just wipe it all clean.

Area A Late July-Early Aug
What strikes me is, I don't see any sign of partition walls anywhere up the line. The Antonine road appears to be on the right (east), meaning the inside of the building would have been on the left, yes? Was this just one long corridor -- or are there internal partitions that don't show in the pic?

Area A Late July-Early Aug
Whoa - that wall is a beauty! Is that running north-south directly under the later flagstone road to the HQ building? And its own cobbled road to the east? What fab pieces of archaeology. Had no idea those were even lurking there. Many thanks for the pic.

No, not the Roman kind, but one that thrills me nonetheless.

Just now WeDig has hit its 500th member!

Posted Image

Thank you stewylawson -- and thanks to all WeDig'ers. It's coming up on the 4th anniversary since I first got it into my head to put this forum together! And I'm really pleased & grateful to all who have helped make it what it is.

- Harry

Alistair Moffat's "The Wall" DVD
In another post I mention that WeDig'er Tim Adams had recommended a DVD series, "The Wall," by Alistair Moffat. Mine arrived in the mail a few days ago and I've just watched it through. Really enjoyable, and I'd highly recommend it to any who haven't seen it.

It was filmed in late 2007, copyright 2008, and runs for 12 chapters of about 10 minutes each -- so a little over 2 hours total. Chapters 5-7 are largely devoted to Vindolanda, and has some great interviews with Robin, Pat, Andy, and Justin, as well as a few volunteers (WeDig'ers spotted among them!). Nostalgic to see flyovers of Vindolanda with the granaries and barracks still completely buried under turf. Hard to believe that was only a few years ago. And wonderful to see a few video clips from Vindolanda excavations in 1973!

The DVD is not a typical history piece -- it doesn't set out to explain step by step how the Wall was built, fort layout, chronology, etc. And it's not so much a travel show either. It vaguely tracks the Wall from east to west, but bounces around all over the place in so doing.

It's much more a show on the human story, and personalities -- both Roman and modern. How the Wall has shaped and is shaped by the people who live along it. So there are many interviews with local farmers, B&B proprietors (including a couple great pieces with Brian from Twice Brewed), walkers, archaeologists & historians.

I bought my copy from http://www.northern-heritage.co.uk/ and am quite pleased. They offer both the European PAL version and the North American NTSC.

"Grace20" spammer
Aug 18 2010, 01:46 PM
Or perhaps an alternative.....Spes20. I have always thought the roman personification of Hope, a gal slightly lifting the hem of her skirt, was a perceptive understanding of the human condition!
Hah! Best coin ever.

"Grace20" spammer
As an update, I've been talking to the forum providers about how to get rid of this personal message from everyone's accounts. It seems ludicrous that a spammer's junk lingers on even after the account has been deleted and banned. As of yet I haven't gotten any answer on a way to purge the spam, but will keep trying.

"Grace20" spammer
Thx to all for reporting the private-message spammer. Been a while since one got through, sorry this one did!

I've deleted the account & banned the IP address. Currently working on a way to purge the message from people's Inboxes.

Area A Late July-Early Aug
I remember out in the vicus a few years back there was a house (?) with a big amphora buried in its floor. Never found out if that was a personal lavatory, or a storage container for perishables, or a safe/vault. Pretty cool to find another one!

Area A Late July-Early Aug
I love it! Maybe all houses should have one?

I also love that pic you got of the room with what looks like a big amphora buried in the middle. Is that the Primal Scream room?

Area A Late July-Early Aug
For reference, Sue was digging in the NW-most barrack block within Stone Fort II (the visible fort). And her trench was in the southern half of the NW-most unit within that long rectangular barrack block.
Posted Image

This barrack unit was first uncovered in 2009, and the 4th/5th Century levels exposed then. It looks like crews earlier in 2010 discovered a threshold to a small north-south hallway at the eastern side of this unit. Sue's crew found and dug out a pit at this threshold. And it looks like by the end of their dig they had reached an early cobbled floor level (the dark layer at the bottom of this picture). This would (I believe) have been the original floor surface for when this barrack was first built.

The visible fort (and this barrack block) was first built in the early 3rd Century. From what I understand, at the end of the 3rd century it may have been abandoned for some time (months? years?). In the early 4th Century it was then remanned and comprehensively rebuilt, on mostly the same foundations. (Which is why the floors and walls of the later buildings tend to line up with those of the 3rd Century.) The current programme of works is trying to determine whether the 4th Century barracks were still "military" or if they had "civilians," or both -- or if there was even a real difference in those terms by then.

"Area A" Team Photos 2010
Week of 25 July, courtesy great picture set by SueMonro:

Area A Late July-Early Aug
Sue, these are amazing -- Wow! I pulled them from the team photo section into the running dig section so they'd get their own home. Looks like you had quite a time of it; it's going to be a lot of fun poring through and seeing what's going on! Thanks so much for the post.

Wallwalker Blog
Came across this neat blog of a dad from Idaho visiting Wall country for the first time. A nice read, and always interesting to see someone's first thoughts of the land & its history & people: http://pkmeco.com/familyblog/