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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!

Milestones of a different sort
So, a big couple of days in We Dig Vindolanda lore.

On August 22, 2006, five years ago today, We Dig Vindolanda went live. I cannot believe it's been 5 years! But I'm grateful & thrilled for all the friends, pictures, stories, conversations, and fun that this has been. Here's to much more in years to come.

And in a second milestone, yesterday WeDig got its 700th member! A hearty welcome to thommo -- and to all the folks who have joined this season. I hope you're enjoying the nooks & crannies that this site has to offer. Please visit, share, post, and enjoy.

Thank you Justin!
A huge WeDig thanks to Justin for months' worth of daily tweets about the site. It's been great checking in every day and getting a taste of what's going on so far away. And a great record to have, to be able to scroll back through the weeks.

Enjoy your holiday, hoping to see you again in '12!

Week 20
Great tweets from Justin this week! Lots of organics in the pre-Hadrianic ditch within the later fort. And big defensive walls out in the vicus. The walls in the vicus come from one of two periods. Could be Period VI-A, the late Antonine period, ~AD 180-200. This was the time of "Stone Fort I," which sat in about the same location as the visible fort. To its west was an annex, tacked onto the main fort and protected by its own walls. In 2009, further south, a line of wall as well as a gate was found for this annex (details here). Alternately, could be Period VI-B, the short-lived Severan period ~AD 208-213. This was when Stone Fort I had been leveled and replaced by dozens of roundhouses, and a new odd little fort was raised to its west (where the current vicus sits).

So looks like an awesome week. WeDig'ers, please send in pics & thoughts to flesh it out for the rest of us!

Week 19
For more, and higher-res, pics, check out Pauline's album here.

Attached is a little diagram showing about where the vicus trench is in relation to the rest of the site.

Week 19
Lastly, just a few meters west of the well-made building foundations, diggers in Wk 19 revealed another fairly well-made wall fragment, but then a pretty terrible line of stones running off at an angle:

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Week 19
Next, out west of the fort in the vicus, the well-preserved 3rd-C drain, and well-made building foundations behind it:

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Week 19
Here we go, some of the shots from PaulineM. First, the Flood:

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Week 19
I've got a fab set of the vicus photos on my computer that Terry & Pauline sent in. I've been remiss in getting them resized & uploaded. Will try to make sure to do that today.

Week 19
Yikes, the swimming pool that is Vindolanda! Thanks much for the news Tom; that's very cool that you guys were able to come down on top of the ditch at least. I'll bet it was maddening to watch it get buried!

Area of Excavations 2011
END OF WEEK 19
(Aug 8 - Aug 12)

A very wet & truncated week! Yet a few dry patches in-between showers, as diggers worked on late 3rd C buildings in the vicus and chased the early 2nd C fort ditch within the main fort.

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(larger version available here)

Thanks to TerryS, PaulineM, and MickArchaeology for great updates this week, despite the weather. The early 2nd Century northern fort ditch, found under the 3rd C centurion's apartment (area 5n), is coming up well. It is in great condition, with discarded wicker fencing, laminate flooring, and other organics coming out of it. The turf blocks making up the north rampart wall behind the ditch were also found. (Still not sure if this is Period III or Period IV fort wall. Maybe the same wall/ditch was reused from Period III to IV in this area?) As parts of the site were slowly being backfilled, crews were set to work chasing the early ditch to the east, back in area 1. Unsure how close the crews in area 1 are to the ditch level.

Out in the vicus, west of the bath house, crews found more of the stone-capped water channel running along the main vicus road. Behind the channel, the remains of a rectangular (?) vicus building have shown up, as well as an enigmatic wall. The rectangular building appears well-laid. The wall is quite rough. More answers lead to more questions, as always!

All in all, a wet & frustrating week, but also trenches that are now down onto some remarkable material.

2011 odds and ends
LOL, just clicked through and yeah, that now sounds a bit odd indeed.

Week 19
Brilliant pic! Are the posts from a later period than the ditch? (i.e., a fence or wall that was built on top of the back-filled ditch?) Or were they defensive stakes at the outside lip of the ditch? (I'd never heard of the latter at Vindolanda, but there always seems to be some great new discovery each year.)

Week 19
The theme of this week seems clear:

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Good luck to all slogging through, hope you get some sunshine & digging in!

(Note, these images are screen captures from the So How's the Weather? WeDig page. You can always check the page out and see live Webcams from throughout the region.)

EDIT: At the moment, the Newcastle Web-camera seems to have been knocked out of position and is just pointed down at the rooftop where it's mounted. Not a stirring image, that. But the others are all up & running.

Area of Excavations 2011
END OF WEEK 18
(Aug 1 - Aug 5)

A wet & truncated week, with activity mostly in Site #2 (the 2nd Century levels below the 3rd-4th C north-south road) and Site #5n (the 2nd C levels below the 3rd C centurion's quarters at the NW corner of Temple Avenue).
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(larger version available here)

Week 18 saw downpours on Tuesday and Thursday, and a sick Justin for some other bits of the week. Nonetheless, crews worked hard when & as possible on a scaled-down site. It seems that one base of activity was the deep, gloopy levels under the old centurion's quarters at the NW end of Temple Avenue. Justin has confirmed that the ditch running east-west through that trench is in fact one of the early fort ditches. For reference, take a quick look at Period II and Period IV. These two early wooden Vindolandas were laid out at a different angle to the visible stone fort. Their northern walls ran through the middle of the later fort, but up to now their exact location was iffy. Finding this large, well-preserved ditch has been a real prize this year!

Many thanks to Sue Monro for coming back from a bad burn to dig Week 18 and put up some great photos & story. Sue reports her team working across the mid-early 2nd Century layers in Site 2, uncovering a ton of slag -- more evidence of more metalworking. Sometimes it seems that everybody's back room at Vindolanda was a workshop. Self-sufficiency ruled the day.


Week 18
Send 'em in, folks! -LOVE- the pictures from Week 17. What's happening on that ditch (and elsewhere) this week?