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The Severan period
Topic Started: Jun 25 2007, 09:58 AM (466 Views)
MBetz
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Harry-
After spending a few weeks digging to the Severan layers I think that the small garrison may have used the annex area of the earlier fort as its defended position while something else was going on up on the fort platform of the stone Antonine fort. Cutting a ditch into the north west wall of the earlier stone fort seems strange unless the walls were in such a state that it was easier to refurbish the defences of an annex than build stone walls for a fort that would be too large for the garrison stationed at Vindolanda. It makes me think that the garrison at Vindolanda knew they would not be there for long term so didn't need a "proper" stone fort. The platform of the old fort seems to have worked fine though for stone foundation roundhouses, though. And who knows what those were for, I certainly don't!
Matt
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MBetz
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My thought is that the Antonine fort was in a state of ruin that would have taken too much in resources to repair to a defesible level. The annex just outside the west gate would have been mostly, if not all, timber structures which would be easier to level and build on. The defensive ditch and rampart is marking out an area that is thus useable and may need only a recutting of the ditch and replacement of the palisade. Or the garrison that moved to Vindolanda for a few years may have been more like a numeri group that kept its own structure which put the hierarchy in the small defended area and the basic troops out on the level platform that could hold them. As more work is done at the north end of the Antonine fort new ideas may emerge as to how the fort platform's defenses were laid out (if there were any). The defensive style may give a clue as to what type of force was in residence for those few years.
Matt
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