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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!

Session 3
Note: for those interested a slightly different take on the diggings, for my non archeology friends back home, usually appears daily at Detritus of Empire

Snowglobe and I are troweling through what should be the intervallum road. But it appears to have a flagged surface in places and a lot of dark, murky soil. One wonders just what the late Romans had squishing around their toesies!

A few finds popped up, nothing fab but stuff that amuses me at least.

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A (?) sheep jaw laying in the muck.

And another find from the rampart area...

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It amazes me how precise Samian ware construction really is, and how pristine it can look even from higher layers.

Various things turning up elsewhere on the site, more on the order of walls and flags, other than a bead and another arrow head not much for small finds.

Late in the day Brinno our Dutch colleague got into quite a batch of tile and amphora fragments. Incidentally he is paired with a chap named Richie whose Geordie accent is so dense that we have observed that there appears to have been a purposeful effort to team up the two diggers who really did not speak English!*

*disclaimer, Brinno speaks rather good English. We are hoping he teaches Richie some Dutch, it would be an upgrade.

Badger

Session 3
Lots of deturfing going on today, but Snowglobe and I were detailed to investigate an area apparently explored by antiquaries in the early 1800s. Their trench made its way up towards the Stone fort II wall near the East gate. There were a few finds, I guess the 1830's workmen and their supervisors were less interested in things like rampart contruction and late roman reuse. Right near the fort wall we found a series of wooden objects. Old, but certainly not Roman in a level where anaerobic preservation is not possible. Eventually Snowglobe removed one...

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No, not an implausibly intact ballista bolt. It seems to be a huge tent stake whittled from a sapling. It might have held up some kind of tarp.

In a probable 4th century wall is this worked stone. Not an altar it may have held painted plaster for decorative purposes.

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And finally the reappearance of a venerable Vindolanda artifact....

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Of course I meant the Boston Red Sox hat - seen for many seasons now - not its wearer the ever young Anthea!

Badger

Session 3
Mostly just playing around with ways to upload photos from a tablet based system....a new experience for me. Here is a snap from yesterday's brief recon of the site.

It is yet another example of the myriad ways that mudstone can try to deceive. I was sure at first glance that this was some sort of lead pipe.

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Badger
waiting for breakfast

Session 3
Weather report for Sunday, 28 April

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Janus the two headed god for a day of sun and rain and wind. Forecast augeries are favorable.

Badger

Nights at the Twicey...
As Session Two winds down the Session Three diggers are adding that last pair of warm socks to their kit and getting ready to travel.

Let's start things out properly.

All Session Three diggers (and of course other local friends) are hereby invited to the second annual Jet Lag Drinks Hour at the Twice Brewed Inn. Sunday, 7 o'clock. If there are trans Atlantic travelers other than myself, I should specify...7 pm.

Come shake off the malign effects of travel - which can be quite harrowing even over shorter distances - and join us for a pint.

Snowglobe and I will be there. New diggers can recognize me by my American accent and my badger toned beard, sadly running more to white these days. I would describe Snowglobe also, but I fear our time digging together is likely once again to descend to rival postings of unflattering photos of each other, and I shan't fire the first shot in that war!

Come tell a few tales of the off season and boast expansively of what we are going to accomplish in the weeks ahead!

Badger and Snowglobe

Session 2
Well....ok

In the line above it looks like ...VEATNLLES.. or something like that. Could this be a variant on the local deity mentioned on other Vindolanda altars?

RomanoBritian lists the following variants from Vindolanda:

VETERIBUS
VETERI....TIN...S
VETERIBUS
VETERI

Given the difficulty reading the darned thing I am uncomfortable saying anything more....But I am pretty sure there is a VET in there....

Badger
hope the speculation is appropriate. As Sarcannon says, the image is posted on the official Vindolanda blog.


Session 2
I was on site a few years ago when two of these household altars were found in one day. They, and I am suspecting this one also, were reused as building stones. WeDig generally defers questions on things like inscriptions to the Vindolanda Trust. When they want to talk about it we will too! Many of these little guys appear to have been made by, ahem, journeymen carvers and have a great deal of variation in spelling and grammar. Some are entirely illegible due to this and to wear.
But my goodness, this is a nice clean one!
There are some fascinating local deities who are pretty much only known by their being remembered in this rather rough hewn fashion.

Congrats to the smiling digger....I have stared long and hard at more than one wall stone trying to make it into one of these!

Badger

Session 1
One of those barracks floor shots shows an area of SERIOUS settling. You get used to seeing stones bashed about by later plowing and such but that looks as if there was something giving way underneath.

Time, as always, will tell.

Badger

'Pompeii of the North' - Museum of London Archaeology dig
I recall reading an account of the original excavation of the Walbrook site back in the 1950s. The pagan temple aspect of it caught the public imagination to an extent that the archeologists - much to their surprise - had crowds of the public and flocks of VIPs milling about all the time.

Not surprising that a few artifacts got missed. Probably trod upon a bit!

Badger

Session 1
Regards the previous question on whetstones..

WeDig generally tries to steer clear of too much speculation. That is the job of Andrew and Justin.

But whetstones as an artifact would seem to be fairly non specific. Auxilliaries needed to sharpen swords. Women needed to sharpen kitchen knives. If there were post roman Dark Agers living on site they lost lots of technology but still were sharpening weapons.

So less helpful than some other artifacts in terms of establishing use and dates one would think....

Badger

ps does the Hut Detail also have to stock crackers and tea?

Session 1
The site looks so clean and tidy....no loose dirt anywhere. No mud, no pools of water... I would take crisp and clear any day.
Looks in yesterday's shots as if Anthea has lost her Red Sox hat!

Badger