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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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It's 22.10 in the uk.
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?

Very intriguing question, esp. given the near-collapse of the Empire in the third century, a period when--as near I can tell--the formal 'order of battle' for legions, at least, was hopelessly muddled. If legionary vexillations were being ordered off to far-away theaters of conflict, never to be seen again in their customary posts, presumably at least some auxiliary cohorts would have been pulled from 'quiet sectors' (eg, the Wall) as well to augment field forces elsewhere. While a legionary fortress or string of forts might retain most of the legionary cohort complement, I'd not be surprised to learn that auxilary troops--individual cohorts or alae--might also be yanked away from 'quiet areas', leaving a reduced Wall garrison.

OTOH, perhaps the Fourth remained where it was after all, while other cohorts were sent off to threatened sectors. Should be an interesting excavation period!

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?

Interesting indeed. I don't know of any proximate threats in the 270s which might've caused the civilian populace to decamp, but if the Fourth was pulled out for duty elsewhere, and nothing replaced them for a few years....

Just idle speculation, and I know I'm not supposed to theorize in advance of the data, so I'll shut up.

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?

Gotta wonder--the ad hoc field forces of the period may have required reinforcement from a 'quiet' British sector, with all that that implies for continuity of occupation. Is there any epigraphical attestation for the presence of the IV in the fourth century, or merely that 'some unit X' was in occupation as part of the Limitanei? Just curious, as if the IV were withdrawn to augment forces elsewhere sometime after 275, the fourth century occupation might then possibly have been by another cohort entirely?

It's 22.10 in the uk.
Nov 2 2007, 09:18 AM

Now 4th C, there you're talking! Constantine & the boys partying in York, "Paul the Chain," Maximus (no, not the Australian one), chalet-living semi-professional soldier-knockoffs running away from Picts screaming "Woad is meee!!!!", Theodosius kicking barbarian backside... I can get on board with C4. ;)

Okay, we're good to go with the 4th c. I like Paul Catena, and Ammianus M, and of course the Comes Theodosius who laid some major whup on those barbarian conspirators.

NO MORE WIMPY 1st-3rd century history!


Okay, I've taken my meds and I'm better now. I'll be in Vindolanda late June-early July, so if you're there too we'll raise a pint to Theo, celebrate the Fourth of July with a few more beers, and possibly have a few more brews to commemorate Rome and Romans in general. And maybe some more beers to celebrate your baby, and, and....

I detect a pattern to my celebratory activities.

It's 22.10 in the uk.
Nov 1 2007, 08:45 PM
Looks to be an exciting 5-year plan. But nothing pre-3rd century proposed between now and 2012?? Does that mean a 5-year dearth of new writing tablets, as well as all that other fabulously preserved material that makes Vindolanda so unique?? Ack!

Ah, but Harry: the 3rd and 4th centuries witnessed some of the most intriguing developments in Roman history.

Augustus was cool, if a bit humorless (or so BBC/HBO's 'Rome' has instructed me); your Hadrian was a clever fellow; Agricola was the Empire's Emissary to Those Blue-Painted Freaks Up North; Commodus looked like Joaquin Phoenix and played at swords--but for your real, down-home, stick-to-your-ribs good times, ya just gotta go with the third century. Civil wars, uncivil wars, barbarian incursions, accelerating changes in local and Empire-wide cultures and society; a whole world in transition. Principate to Dominate, divide the Empire into two, then four, have some barracks emperors, get some breakway 'empires' going...we're talking full-throttle, pedal-to-the-metal, no-holds-barred 'interesting times'.

What could--no, seriously, now--what could POSSIBLY be more fun?

Except for the last day of 406. THAT was serious good fun. I mean it.

I'm sick, really I am.

It's 22.10 in the uk.
Hello All!

I was waiting at the keyboard last night--10:01 and I attempted to 'purchase' an excavation slot. No joy--got a 'your shopping cart is empty' when I tried to complete the transaction.

'So', says I to self, 'self, I bet that-there server is getting slammed sideways by crazed volunteers logging on from such diverse places as Patagonia, Australia, Maine and Scotland--the last two being home to particularly crazed folk--so you'd best just try again'.

So I did. And got myself registered.

Now, with luck, for his sins Justin will have to put up with me for two weeks next year. He'll be wondering what terrible things he did in a previous life to deserve my stupid jokes, no doubt.

Seriously, even if I'm not accepted ('dear Eric, we regret to inform you that, um, there will be serious flooding all season in 2008, no really there will be, so please don't bother coming...'}, I'll come to visit, at the least, just to say 'hello' to y'all and to see how the season progresses!

Good luck to everyone, and I hope to see you next year.