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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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T shirts v Polo shirts
Yeah, I spent most of '09 and '10 doing eBay searches on "Vindolanda," "Chesterholm," "Bardon Mill" ...

Err... No. No, I didn't do that. That would be super geeky.

T shirts v Polo shirts
I've got a big hole in my collection from '08 - '10. Maybe there's a market for these?? I should start looking on eBay.

Week 24 12- 16 Sept
And as always, more pictures -- all wonderfully high resolution -- available at Terry & Pauline's original Canon photo album: http://www.cig.canon-europe.com/p?p=DE2ZJikRGkc&t=kpC

Thank you so much to Terry & Pauline -- and all the WeDig'ers who have taken their time to share pictures & thoughts with the rest of us -- throughout the year. Not only was this obviously a great year on-site, but it was probably WeDig's best & most active yet.

Week 24 12- 16 Sept
Wow. The end of what sure, to my amateur eyes, looks like an incredible year!

As promised above, some of Terry & Pauline's pictures from the last couple days of the season follow. First, a little context. Again, the work has been out in the northwestern part of the vicus -- the 3rd Century civilian settlement outside the fort-proper. The dig site is west/southwest of the big bath house, and north across the vicus road from the Severan commander's house. Here's a picture of what I can tell of some of the features:
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This last week seemed to focus heavily on the ditch, with good reason. It's very early -- Hadrianic at the latest, meaning early (to very early) 2nd Century, one of the very early wooden forts at Vindolanda. Like so much else on site, it contained anaerobic layers with well-preserved organics (such as the awesome shoe & wooden pulley that davidgoldwater posted here). Here is an image of the ditch excavation in progress. The photo is taken from the NW corner of the plan above, looking south.
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All the cobbling in the foreground -- does anyone know if that's related to this early ditch, or is it a cobbled yard from the later 3rd C?

Another shot of the action:
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The next picture shows an overview of all of this western part of the vicus dig site. Again, taken from the north & looking south. The ditch is obvious, as is the massive & weird 3rd C wall on the left. Just in front of the wall on the right (west) is a 3rd C drain/waterway system, with an odd circular stone-lined catchbasin (?) at its northern end. Would love to know what this is all about.
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At the SW corner of the vicus trench is an odd alignment of -enormous- and wonky boulders. No word yet on the date or purpose of this set of stones. Their height in the strata suggest that they're late, from the end of the 3rd C.
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This view, from the SW corner of the plan looking NE, shows a "robber trench" that seems to be cutting at an angle through the later 3rd C wall, as well as everything else in its path. Is this trench Roman or Victorian?
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At the east end of the vicus trench, diggers have uncovered a well preserved rectangular house/shop. The shot below is from the south, looking north. Its western wall still stands 4-5 courses high; its eastern side is less well preserved. Many flagstones still remain, suggesting a fairly well-finished building when it was new. The "apse" in the plan is in the southeast corner, and doesn't seem nearly as prominent now -- any word on whether it's "real" or just a funny set of tumbled rock?
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Another picture of the northern half of the rectangular house/shop, taken from the east looking west. Many features evident in the soil, any word on what that all is?
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And finally, as the year draws to a close, a last view down good old "Temple Avenue" within the fort itself. This is standing on the main east-west road within the fort, looking north, with the well-preserved 3rd C barracks on the left & right, and the two circular Severan "roundhouses" in the foreground.
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What a year!!

Week 24 12- 16 Sept
That's really interesting if it's Period V. Changes the fort layout for Periods IV-V in a big way! Thx for the news Kate. :)

Week 24 12- 16 Sept
Interesting news from katesf -- the north-south ditch is early. Hadrianic at the latest. (So I'm guessing not related to what looks like the very late stone wall next to it?) Preserved organic laminate has been coming out. No word if anything else coming out. According to Vindolanda maps/overlays, it's actually bang on for being the western defensive ditch of Period II/III, around AD 100. What a year!

Week 24 12- 16 Sept
Brilliant! I see that drain/watercourse that was laid right up against the big north-south rampart wall, starting from the circular mass of stones. Am I right that that's just weird?

T shirts v Polo shirts
This is exactly why WeDig needs a "Like" button!

Week 20
Hi Dougie. Pictures & posts are all up to volunteers. For most of the year we had a fab run, but it kind of went silent there in mid August. Hopefully a WeDig'er has pictures on their camera for those weeks & is just waiting for the right moment to post. :)

What part of the site were you digging? Were you inside the fort-proper or out in the vicus?

Week 22
Good points both! I first thought like you did, part of an earlier project -- maybe the extension of the Antonine (late 2nd C) annex. They found a stone-fronted rampart & gate for the annex down south a bit in '09.

What made me think this wall is later is: (1) the stone looks to me like "cowboy-building" -- like the Gauls did in the 3rd C. Heavy, hardy, unpolished. And (2) that flagstone floor/yard butting up against it (or going under it??) to the west. It's hard to see that flagging being later than the chunky wall that's still there at a higher level.

Week 23
Wow, just about at the end. Amazing year.

I heard through the grapevine that this week & the next were devoted to training MA students. Still, if anyone's taken a picture or two, or can lend a thought on what's going on this week, would love to hear from you!

Week 22
I can totally hear Robin in my head saying that.

OK, here's my thinking cap: it's the end of the 3rd C. Life is getting a bit dicey, with Britain being a breakaway territory & all that. Maybe at first the townspeople decided to build a wall for security. They got started, planted it right on top of older features (the circle thing and the flagstoned yard)... and then something happened and they abandoned it before it was finished. After all, it was only a few years later that the whole vicus was abandoned & everyone moved inside the fort.

Week 22
That works on so many levels!

Week 22
It just seems very weird. It seems aligned with the Severan praetorium on the south side of the road. But (a) the other Severan walls were just clay mounds, and (b) the stonework seems pretty lousy compared to other Severan stuff. But yeah, I don't think I've heard of any other 3rd C vicus walls anywhere else. One big thick wall is kind of useless without neighbors.

Week 22
And a few more shots. First, a later shot of the rampart wall. Again, starting from the furthest south bit and looking north. You can also see other odd features. In the foreground, the odd & wobbly-looking line of stone running off at an angle under the baulk. Further in the distance a flagged area (floor? yard?) that spreads out west of the rampart (outside the wall?).
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This next shot is of the 3rd Century strip house/workshop on the eastern side of Site 7. This photo looks east, across the vicus and to the fort (the fort is that mass of stone that lay beyond the large lone tree). In the picture you can see the well-laid drain, with a few capping stones still in place. The vicus roadway is to its right (south), and the house/shop is very prominent to its left (north).
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Last shot, standing in front of the house/shop looking across it to the north. The eastern walls of the building are not so well-preserved as the western, though the floors are beautiful. And what on earth is that semi-circular "apse" doing there? Very curious.
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As always, very many thanks to Terry & Pauline for great photos. What a wealth they've been adding to WeDig all year long! If you'd like to see the remainder of the photo album, here is the link.

Week 22
A few of Terry & Pauline's pictures:

Overview of the work area, hugging tight against the visitor path:
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The massive rampart wall, looking north from the south. Latest thoughts seem to be that it's a western defensive wall for the vicus. Not sure if there were ever found any other vicus defenses to south or north.
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The rampart wall again, now standing north & looking south. At its northern tip, where the wall peters out, there's a curious stone-lined feature. Definitely purpose-built. But what purpose?
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Closeup of the odd feature. Did it exist at the same time as the rampart?
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Week 22
After too much delay, following are a selection of Terry & Pauline's great pictures from Week 22. First, a little context. Here is the location of the dig out in the civilian settlement, the "vicus" (what I've labeled as "Site 7" on the weekly progression. As you can see, it's at the far west end of the main settlement, just west/southwest of the bath house:
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And here is a close-up of the features that have been uncovered:
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T shirts v Polo shirts
Gotta say, I kind of like the idea of a more versatile digger shirt. I imagine that anything deviating from "regular T-shirt" suddenly spikes the cost. But if a collared, breathable Vindolanda logo shirt were available, I'd probably buy one. Just sayin'.

Week 22
Fantastic pic, thanks for it! The end-of-the-year lag had set in pretty heavily, so it's great to see all the progress since mid-August. What a beautiful rampart.

EDIT: A few years ago, Robin started rethinking the age of that bath-house. At first they thought that it was 3rd C, built along with the vicus. But then he thought that it might be much older, Antonine/mid-late 2nd C. If this rampart really is shooting north (and therefore not cutting through the bath-house space), that seems to support the idea of the bath-house being older, and standing there at the time of that wall. Thoughts Andy?