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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!

Areas of Excavation 2007
For the upcoming excavation season where will the digging take place? Andy, your group will be working in the north of the fort or in the extra-mural area near the bath house? Justin, will your team be expanding the area to the west of last season? How much of the area that was scraped of topsoil was excavated last season in your area, Justin? Some of the pictures show that most of the area was excavated beyond the removal of the topsoil. I'm wondering if I will be able to help track down the elusive Stanegate this season? I'm keen to get to grips with that field across the road to the north of the fort. That has got to have some great potential even beyond the magnetometry done a few years back.


JB is going due south of the 2005 area of excavation. Tracing the line of his new forts ditch system amongst other things. I am droping down inside two/three large vicus buildings to the NW of the west gate of the last fort at Vindolanda. Here, we will be encountering Severan layers, then the timber buildings inside the central range of the big timber forts, followed at the bottom by period 1 and Antonine fort ditches. Also I will be having a trenchto the north of the NW cornern of the last stone fort, to prove one way or anther that the foundations of the Antonine fort go beyond the corner of the last stone fort, and to show where the Severan defences interact with the surviving (or not) Antonine fortifications / dicth systems/ roundhouses et al.

That just about cover it for this year :-)


Areas of Excavation 2007
Hi Matt,

No, no stanegate trenching this year, but it is in our plans to do so over the next 5 years of work. we will just have to see if those plans can be worked up to a state they can go forward.



Roundhouses at Vindolanda, why?
There is a theory that these represent some sort of slave houses in this sense. You also get roundhouses on Villa estates. Hence the idea you have Creol type of system in place, the posh Roman Brit in their 'Roman' estate house, the poor slaves / workers, in poor class housing next door. Two cultures collide, but they don't perhaps intergrate. Where this theory falls in a military context is that at Vindo, they put these things on the better ground, infact the level the old fort for these people, then put a new garrison next door to the west. What is now beyond much doubt is that these people had minders, in the garrison next door, but they were not deemed a threat because their settlement was not 'enclosed' in any way as far as we can tell. In many ways, it seems to have been treated as just another extramural settlement, except for the 'special status' of having the best plot of land on a military site. Of course, we have evidence that in te 3rd century tribes from the south of the province help with the Severan repairs to the wall. Our bods could be these people, perhaps from the modern Cornwall / Devon areas, or even Wales, places that did not really embrace Roman architectual/cultural traditions as much as in other areas of lowland Briton, rather they continued to plough their own path.

Needless to say, the roundhouse issue will be re-visited in this years report. But I want to thank everyone for their comments and ideas, there is a great deal of food for thought in this topic, and some excellent posts.



cooking, writing and other skills

Commonly thought to be a diminishing commodity as Roman Occupation went on, so more literate in the 1st-3rd centuries than the 4th. This is mainly due to the bias in the inscription record from the earlier periods. However, there is no reason to not suspect that at Vindolanda in the 3rd century most people could at least spell their names and write down a passage or two. Certainly, we still get public inscriptions, such as the CIVES GALLI, which would suggest the message was worth writing down so people could read it.

As for cooking, if you are a trooper you are supposed to do you own, unless you have a handy slave or two to do it for you :-)...but there are shared oven facilities, so it makes sense to write your name on something you value. How good was the cooking? that's what I often wonder about. It would be great to recover a Vindolanda cook book. We will have to look out for one this year, maybe do a masterchef special.

The 2007 excavations season
The excavations applications for the 2007 season are now closed.

I am pleased to announce that the excavations are now fully booked for the 2007 season. We hope to be opening the bookings for the 2008 season on the 1st of November, but will have more to say closer to the time on that matter. If you want to be included on the mailing list for 2008 please email Fiona Watson at info@vindolanda.com and request to be put on to that list.

Thank you to everyone who have signed up for this season, I hope that you all enjoy your experience and I am looking forward to catching up with you all over the coming months. Don't forget your wellington boots.

All the best,