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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!

Update on Report for '07 Season
Hi Matt,
Cheers for the support.

Alas the money is not secured yet. We have a project, a very very good project, but it remains to be seen if we can secure the funding for it. We will do our best to do this, and I hope that we can continue to move things forward in a positive fashion. I will let everyone know how we get on at an appropriate time.

The museum has a world class collection, what we want to do is give the collection world class interpretation to make it as accessible as possible to as wide an audience as possible. This doesn't mean we are neglecting the other operational aspects of what we do, far from it. So hopefully some news ont he research front will follow soon in the new year.



Update on Report for '07 Season
Hey guys,

Justin will not be releasing a major report this year as he is holding off until next year when he will combine 2007 & 2008. We normally do things biannually, rolling two years excavations in together, hence the 2001 & 2002, 2003 &2004, 2005-2006 reports. Beth and I will be doing a short report on the work from this year and the 2005 excavations to the north, which I hope to made downloadable as a PDF on the new website once it is done. As for when it will be finished, as they say, it is done when it’s done! I am flat out and Beth is in North Carolina but will be over in Feb to do her own research on the Vindo leather. Realistically, I hope to have something out by May.

Apart from this, a brief report will appear in next years Britannia, a summary of the work and finds. This comes out in November (that would be next year), so you will have to hang on until then for that. As for the tablets, I wish I had news on them but I don’t at present. They are just about finished with conservation, and Robin and Tony have not had a chance to get to grips with them yet. The Trust is running flat out trying to secure a Heritage lottery bid and other exciting developments which I can’t let you know about just yet, so it is all hands to the pump at the moment. I will post news on tablets as soon as I get something solid. I will pour a bit of water over this though as the prognosis is not great for most of them, they were mostly stylus tablets. However….. some of these showed signs of writing so we will have to wait and see. Normally it takes 10 years for epigraphers (Bowman and Thomas for example) to get the info out on the tablets, so you guys might have to wait for another couple of months J. The coins are on their way to Durham in the next couple of weeks for the coin report to be compiled so we should at least know what they are sometime in early Feb.

It is frustrating I know, and all of this takes time. The excavations for 2008-2012 have been our main priority this month, and we are now over the 50% mark for that, which is great, but as you are probably aware we have had a nightmare with the website, in particular the excavation booking side. I am pleased to say that this now seems to be completely sorted out. If any of you experience any problems please let us know.

Roll on 2008 and fresh air in the field J.


Slains Castle (for Rosie et al)
Slains Castle-

I love the place as well, my sister and her family live north of Aberdeen so I have been there quite often. I like the idea of it being developed than slipping into the sea or crumbling away to nothing. So what if it is a private residence or a golf hotel for Donald Trump ? :-) Envy is a terrible thing and I don’t begrudge someone with the cash who is prepared to take on Hysterical Scotland (read Historical) to sort it out. Let’s be honest here, Slains is a big project, and the ruins are getting dangerous, in more ways than one. Try to get planning permission for starters, then a SMC for any work, then add a county archaeologist in, add specialist conservator contractors for the work and a huge health and safety brief = hell. Whoever fixes Slains will have to bleed for it, and I can't begrudge a person for that.

However, I must confess to having a more continental view of such things than is traditional back at home in Britain, where the prevailing tradition is to let our historical buildings rot until they need demolition or are infested with bats rather than allow someone to fix them up and live in them. I see castles in Spain and France that are living breathing spaces, and I feel no less inspired by them because they have a roof on, and they tend to be somewhere I can get a good supper.

Just a shame that I suspect that non of us on this blog has the cash to do it ourselves :-)



P.S. anyone for putting the roof back on at Vindolanda fort? We could rent out the towers as flats. . . .

It's 22.10 in the uk.

Hi Eric,

Some info about the late 270's. :-)

272 - Aurelian reconquers East
274 - Aurelian reconquers West
275 - Aurelian murdered- new emperor Tacitus
276 - Tacitus murdered in the east, new Emperor Probus
278 - governor of Britain attempts a coup, it fails
282 - Probus murdered, Carus is the new emperor
283 - Carus dies on campaign against Persians in East - succeeded by his Son Numerian in east, in west by other son Carinus
284 - Numerian dies in east -, 20th of November Diocletian proclaimed emperor, Carinus murdered by his own side.



New Roman Finds From Britain
For anyone who likes to keep up with these things!

The first Roman tombstone found in Scotland for 170 years has been unearthed at Carberry, near Inveresk.


It's 22.10 in the uk.
The 3rd and 4th and 5th century debate.

Just wanted to put some thoughts/questions out there that we will be turning our attention to over the next few years.

Although we 'Know' the 4th cohort of Gauls built the last stone fort at Vindolanda, can we support the notion that they remained in garrison for almost 200 years after then, when previous garrisons perhaps only stayed at Vindolanda for up to 20 years max?

What happens inside the fort when the vicus goes out of use cAD275-280? Where do all the people go? Do some of them move inside the fort? Is all of Vicus abandoned in cAD280? Justin's work may well hold some answers to this. What happened to the Vicani Vindolandenses?

If the vicus is abandoned mid 3rd century then rebuilt, and finally completely abandoned by cAD275-280, what happens to the garrison at this time. Is the fort also abandoned at the same time for a while?

Is the central range of the fort occupied by one granary or two? If only one, why just one, what was it storing, and what was the space for another granary being used for. If two, were they in use at the same time, have they ever been repaired or rebuilt during their lifetimes, and perhaps more crucially, where they the centre of 5th century occupation once the 'official' Roman army garrison had pulled out?

Was the 4th cohort of Gauls a proper part mounted regiment at full strength of 740 or 480? Was the NW quadrant of the fort occupied by stables or barracks or both? Were these occupied all the way through to the end of the 4th century? If not, what were they replaced by, and who used this area of the fort?

Was the road outside the principia turned into a market place, like it is thought to have happened at Newcastle and at Carlisle Roman forts? If so, when did this happen and how long was it used for?

In the vicus, does the cemetery move towards the fort walls in the late period? What type of buildings link the temple/workshop district to the rest of the settlement? Who lived in or used those buildings?

It is a shame that it is unlikely that we will have any writing tablets to help us out with such questions, it will be difficult to try and answer all of this, but it is the challenge of such questions which will help to make the next 5years SMC a thrilling one to be a part of. What we may well have, is quite a few inscriptions on stone to help compensate, and I am hopeful that we will get building inscriptions as well as personal dedications, which will have come from both inside and outside the wall of the fort. Why outside? because they used the vicus remains as a quarry to repair buildings on the inside of the fort, and as such there is a chance that some of those building stones will carry good information from the site as a whole.
Aside from all of this, some of the best artefacts to come from the site come from these periods, the painted gladiator glass (3rd century) the bronze bull headed lamp (4th century) and the portable Christian altar (5th century). Not to mention some stonking great stone buildings….what could possibly be more fun than that?



Hi Everyone,

Many thanks for all the patience being shown in booking in this year. We are filling up the places nicely, and as expected June/July and August are getting busy, especially the end of June which is getting booked up quickly. Obviously people think that the will shine in June, it might just do that for a while!

Fiona is processing a lot of applications over the next couple of days, but the usual rule applies, we turn around applications in 2-3 days, so if you have not heard from us after 2-3 day please drop us a line to check on progress.

looking forward to catching up with all of you next year,



It's 22.10 in the uk.
Hey all,

Good to have you on board for the 2008 season. The website is looking good, and at last, seems to be working. It just takes a little bit of patience to fill in the form. I am sorry about the troubles last night. We really had to push to get this up and running for the excavation bookings opening, so our poor web designers were working hard doing 18hour days for the past week to get it sorted. There are still a few glitches in the system, hence you might have to atempt to fill in the form twice. Don't worry, you won't be charged twice!

As for the complicated nature of the form, that is an unfortunate result of changing times. We need more info for insurance etc, so we need to ask more questions. Thus far (as of noon on the 2nd) we have had around 50 successful applications come through. There are a lot of places to fill, over 600, so nobody needs to panic just yet.

3rd 4th and 5th centuries are the focus of the next phase of work Harry, but if we are really good, and get what we need done on time.....well.........we might see what we can do. :-)



Good Morning!

We are as some of you can gather, having a few problems with the website (too many people trying to book in at once). The website is new, and should be working flawlessly shortly. We have had bookings through the system already. What you need to do is to do the following:

Create an account and Log in.

Go throught the booking for the excavations

I have just gone through it and it worked for me on the second attempt, you will not be charged twice, only once for a successful booking and it will tell you once you have made a successful booking.

Once it tells you it has been a successful booking you are all set, and will recieve an email from Vindolanda within two days.

Be patient with us, you will not loose your applicaton date in the next coupleo f days. If you continue to have problems please either call Vindolanda on 01434 344 277, or email Fiona at info@vindolanda.com

I am sorry for the problems and I hope they will be sorted out shortly.