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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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2011 odds and ends
Oh, no Fiona! You demolished Andrew's toolshed/office?

Or perhaps you meant some other building....

Great to hear from you, see you next year Dolichenus willing.

Tim Wolter

2011 odds and ends
It sounds like a second straight week of dodging showers.

Attached is a far too common sight at Vindolanda of late.....

Week 7 (16-20 May)
As we bid a fond farewell to the 3rd/4th century Temple Avenue now being trundled up the ramp to the spoils heap, a final image.

Here we have our very own Kevin Kerr coquettishly showing off the form that gained him the unofficial title of "Mr. Haltwhistle". And Pete looking on in what appears to be mild concern!

Tim Wolter

2011 odds and ends
We had some weather issues last week. Various diggers tried to influence the meterological doings, none more elaborately than Alistair who built his own personal altar to the sky gods!

As you can see in the attached it is an elaborate affair, a 3rd century wall stone stood on end and with a crown of colored rocks set in what appears to be a mudpack. In front of it are offerings in the form of nails, brick bits and bones.

The efficacy was said to be minimal....

T.Wolter


Week 6
A couple of pictures of week six efforts on the part of myself, Al and Kirnan. This was a fourth century barracks room sitting atop a 3rd century roadway. And of course much more deeper down. The red line is the back wall in each case.

The first picture is before....

The second is after, with an ungainly load of rock dumped smack in the roadway. Why? Theories were voiced of a pit with subsidence, but the damp conditions precluded investigation.

Kirnan promises me resolution of this mystery if week 7 reveals it!

Tim Wolter

(have a fun birthday Sophie?)

Week 6
Last two days of week six spent running on and off the site as showers rolled through. Still a fair amount of work done.
Harry and I are in a race to get back to the states, and will likely be posting a smorgasboard of photos presently.

Harry has a two hour head start on me, but I just might catch him.

From the friendly confines of the Twicey, bags by the door.

Tim Wolter

special thanks for the generous hospitality of all the last two weeks.

Week 6
Cheers Kate
As I have mentioned in previous posts, my blog for non archeologists is at http://detritusofempire.blogspot.com/ It does feature the smiling faces and finished efforts of potwashers today.

T.Wolter

Week 6
The overall emphasis of week six continues to be the north south road dubbed “Temple Street”. Ongoing excavations of either side are bringing up the usual small finds. And the road proper is being nibbled into as seen in the first photo.

Under this Caracallan road, at an apparent Severan level, is this odd structure plunked atop the Antonine road surface and extending under the later road.

Justin’s twitter remark is spot on….nobody has any notion as to what it might be.


Week 6
Harry neglects to mention a notable event. Last night at Twicey Quiz one of the Vindolanda teams was able to secure third prize, a dime store fake budgie. (Only, it must be noted, by trading the second prize, a bottle of red wine).

Clearly we needed something to attach to the photographic marker stick used to record small finds and features.

In the first image our own Saco Harry proudly holds high the standard of Legio I Budgiecum after finding a nifty mortaria stamp.

Second image is a close up of the standard. The budgie is now safely packed for Harry to take home to his bird loving daughter.

T. Wolter

Week 6
I shall leave the major features to Harry, who seems by nature better equipped to graph them out. Unlike me he seems to have invariably colored within the lines back in elementary school. No, the small and the odd seem more my province.

Several small bronze items up today, most rather corroded. Also lots of tile, some marked and a Samian stamp.

Here are a couple of pics. First the in-floor amphora mentioned a few days back. Was it indeed the loo or a variation on the storage pit concept? Personally with all the pots about I would have found a more portable, easy to clean option.

Second pic is of a roll of stuff seemingly used to protect backfilled sites. But what a grand product name!

Cheers!

T.Wolter

Week 6
By the way, Harry, those two roundhouses were made of rather soft crumbly stone. When excavated the curvature was incorrectly exaggerated. When you are past the fences tomorrow compare them to other excavated examples that show a much broader curve.

Those tight little roundhouses would be little more than igloos if that were their true radius!

Tim W.

week five daily reports
Week Five--The odd picture

Smack in the middle of the Antonine road is a gigantic, irregular boulder. It could serve no useful purpose that any of us could imagine. Why it was hauled with no small effort into the fort and dropped in the middle of things makes no sense. It is not as if it got pushed around by later plowing, not with that size and at that depth. The team working on it dubbed it "the monster" and seem to have developed some mixture of affection and loathing for it. A vamping pose by a day five digger......

As to the second image, well, what can I say. Pete found a slab of stone that he first felt was a perfect relief map of the African continent. Then on reflection, perhaps recalling that the Romans did not know the topography of anything but the northern third, he came up with an alternative interpretation of the artifact.

I present Petrus Africanus, exotic dancer.

T.Wolter

week five daily reports
Week five--Small picture part two

The first image is of several flat stones placed vertically into the Antonine floor. This was felt to define a storage space. This, and all such previous features, was empty when exavated. The second image is of a previously excavated example in a somewhat later barracks block.

I did not get a picture of it, but the indomitable Anthea came up with another barracks floor feature late in the day on Friday, an amphora set into an Antonine barracks floor. This was presumably the loo, at least for late night/foul weather use.

T.Wolter

week five daily reports
Week five--Small Picture

I like to wander about the site looking at small details. Here are a couple of floor repairs/improvements in recently excavated Antonine barracks.

The first picture shows a round structure used for floor repair. No, not a column base, just a stone pot lid. I personally find it surprising that such a thick, irregular lid would be a decent fit for a delicate pot rim, but perhaps they were for more robust storage jars.

The second image shows amphora shards packed into a low spot. From an engineering standpoint this seems a reasonable approach.


T.Wolter


week five daily reports
Week Five--Big Picture

A week of fine weather and periodic small finds, but mostly clearing and defining features. Almost all the work has been on either side of the north-south road leading to the temple. In fact, some interesting arch work suggests that this street and the barracks on either side may have had some special significance as a set apart zone.

Andy has applied the name Temple Street to the road.

Here are two views of the excavations to either side of Temple Street..

The first is a view of the entire stretch from south to north.
The second shows work on the east side of it, with the expected Stone Fort I road at the usual offset. Note the nice Antonine drain where the road slopes abruptly.

There is some speculation that Temple Street may be coming out soon, it appears to be Caracallan vintage, so I thought it important to capture it while I could.

T.Wolter

week five daily reports
More pursuit of walls and drains, some of which continue to be elusive.

A brooch turned up today, and the mass of amphorae fragments remains impressive. What happened there?

Walking by the spoils heap this morning I noticed a white balloon fluttering on the mound. It was from a furniture store grand opening! Amazing how later material can find is way almost anywhere. Out of curiosity I surveyed the pile looking for other extraneous modern stuff. All I noted were a few chips of green paint-I have been tough on the wheelbarrows this week and it does chip the paint-and a pen that Kevin was looking for earlier in the week.

Tim Wolter

week five daily reports
Week five, day three.

In one sense the day was rather frustrating. Not much for finds of interest, although one barracks room did have half a wheelbarrow full of amphora shards, and I heard that a couple of beads turned up. But for most of us it was the pursuit of features----looking for walls that were not where they should be.

But the digging conditions, well I guess they could be improved upon but only if winged dryads turned up in diaphenous togas and offered us pints of ale! 60 degrees (F), with bright sun and pleasant zephrys.

In my effort to show the less obvious side of the dig site I offer a couple of pix.

The first is the vicus, Justin's Area B. It is sleeping peacefully, the surface seeded for grass that has not sprouted yet due to the dry weather. As to the features suggested on the surface it is your guess as to whether they represent the second century late structures or just where Justin thought a few stones would be nice aesthetically!

The second picture shows what to me is a new innovation. All small finds are now recorded by Andrew taking a site picture of you holding this striped pole on the exact find spot. Given the unproductive day we had today I did have to fake the victorious demenour!

Tim Wolter



week five daily reports
The blog to which Beverly refers, I assume, is at http://detritusofempire.blogspot.com/ This is my personal blog, directed more to non archeology types so a bit more general. Also it features dogs in silly costumes with some regularity.

Tim Wolter

week five daily reports
Another fine day for digging at Vindolanda. Finds a bit spotty as later levels are cleared and the Antonine era awaits.

Rather than try to give daily overview pictures--the site does not change that quickly--I will try to fill in a few fine details.

I turned over a rock today and saw....the ghost image of a spear head! The actual artifact could not be saved, but its memory lives on.

My second picture takes a bit of study. Examine the right side of the picture. At the extreme right edge is the barracks block east of the via praetoria. The huge flags of the road should be easily apparent. Note the roughly curved, incomplete line of stones extending out onto the via praetoria.

There were a lot of jumbled stones found on the road, clearly post roman. But most were just random scatter. But these rather substantial stones look as if they are trying to be a curved apse....and from a very large structure.

If a church it would have been a whopper.

Of course at Vindo other oddities have been found including a workshop with a similar apsidal shape. Or maybe it is just random scatter, where the mind attempts to make order from chaos.

More mysteries, more mysteries.

Tim Wolter


week five daily reports
Here is an example of serious settling into the presumptive underlying ditch.

T.Wolter

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