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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!

Helping Newbies
Wasn't sure if I would comment on this one, but here it goes.

I was one of the "newbie's" in Peter's group. Peter's experience was helpful and it was nice to have someone with a bit of experience elsewhere to bounce ideas off of, and help identify small finds as we were learning. The walk-by's by Alex & Beth were really wonderful (even if all they did the first day was tell us what we had was a rock! :'( )

IMHO, it was good to be with mainly newbie's because we could commiserate together and support each other as we learned. When we wanted to see what else was going on, we went and looked. I think we would have been a deterrent to those with experience, as we were slower and still trying to develop our own technique. I can't imagine Andy setting us an area where it was more expected that we would discover something of huge importance (of course, Andy doesn't have psychic abilities to know what's 2' down)

I came to Vindolanda expecting to do little more than grunt work and actually did much more real archaeology than I hoped.
(Like all the time, eh?! Cool!!! B) )
As a newbie, everything was new and exciting. Even digging sod and lugging it to the waste pile. I had wanted to do this all my life and here I was!
The first day was kind of scary thinking I could destroy something 2000 years old by mistake. As the week went on, I think I got faster (since the area I was digging didn't reveal any substantial features, just lots of bits and bones, a few coins, metal slag, pottery, etc.) and I know I felt more confident in my digging and identifying what was coming out of the soil. Andy told us that by Tuesday we would know the difference between pottery, slag and rock. He was right.

A second week would have continued to improve my skills.

Of course, that's my outlook. I expect that if people were coming to dig with different expectations of what they would be doing or finding, they would have a different experience. I tried to be open to the whole thing because I knew I knew very little practical archaeology.

The patience of the leadership team (and other diggers) was much appreciated. Your program works and from what Andy replied here, my experience supports your approach. I had a great time and really wish I could be back every year.

Dave.

P.S. It was also nice to be told I was part of "young" team ;)