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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!

Jupiter Dolichenus

You appear to have some rudimentary ESP, as I was this morning thinking about the Jupiter Dolichenus shrine and mentally composing a post.

Andy, or "those what knows", I have been wondering about the Jupiter Doli shrine uncovered last season. The altar stone had been tipped over, but any guess as to when? Any helpful stratification right underneath for instance?

Per the preceding article, J-Dol had been out of favor for a century or more in the time period we were excavating last seaon. Was the altar stone tipped early on and made into part of a later floor or wall?

The romans were pretty tolerant blokes, but would a standing pagan altar have been offensive to the later, presumably Christian garrison? Or to the still later, postulated monastic community? I have seen places in Egypt where pagan images have been systematically chiseled off of monuments, although this seems less done in the West.

Since this is a great hulking block of stone it seems unlikely that even the vile Northumbrian weather would have put it over.

So, best guess, when was the Fall of Dolichenus?

Tim Wolter

Helping Newbies

You appear to be right.

Justin's posts seem to come in at normal times.

Andy, not so much.

Hope he catches up by spring.

Tim Wolter

Helping Newbies
I am pretty sure the forum software has some arbitrary clock, many of them seem to be Pacific Time US.
Although if I recall Andy does have a new baby in the house, so you could be right.
Tim Wolter

Helping Newbies
It has also seemed to me that talkative folks get put next to the fence to gab with visitors!

Tim Wolter

Digging in summer
Welcome to the site and to Vindo.
It is a nice stroll from the hostel to the digs, about 1.5 miles.
There is a page elsewhere on the site "Vindolanda on Foot" that has a lot more detail on getting around without wheels.
Where you comin' from?
Tim Wolter

Hedley pitches to the Society of Antiquaries
I like the part where he mused about a half dozen laborers making good progress in a fortnight! Here we are with another 100 years of work ahead of us.

He did underestimate in one regard....no need to spend even five pounds for volunteer help!

Tim Wolter

The Ninth Cohort Of Batavians
Thanks Andy, I suspected something of the sort.

As to the Notitia, it is certainly one of the oddest documents out there. Near as I can tell most scholars think it was compiled under Theodosius as a hand book to help his sons rule.

Now, Theo had his flaws, but no dummy he, it was clear Honorius and Arcadius needed the help!

But what survived seems such a mess, I wonder if it was no more than a pretty scrap book that the idiot princes could use while moving non existent units across an inaccurate map of a crumbling empire.

Who knows how many of those units even existed anymore, or existed only on parchment so that somebody's cousin Lucius could be paymaster and pocket the solidi!

Tim Wolter

The Ninth Cohort Of Batavians
The numbering of Cohorts has puzzled me a bit. Some sources on the Roman army (alas, the later ones like the Notitia Dignatatum are the most rounded out) suggest that the ratio of Legion Troops to Auxilliaries was around 1:1. With an army of several hundred thousand, that makes a lot of Cohorts.
Say for argument, an army of 250,000 men. That makes about 125,000 auxilliaries.
Now, if a Cohort is around 500 men, that would make something like 250 Cohorts.
So, why do we only hear about the low numbered ones?
Gaul being a rather large province there ought to be dozens of Gallic Cohorts, but if any Cohort in Britain has a number over 10 I have not heard of it.

Could each military area had its numbering system? It would seem unlikely that a 4th Cohort in Brittania would be confused with one on the Dacian frontier. Maybe there was a "4th" in each place?

No doubt wiser heads can weigh in on this.

Tim Wolter