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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!

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It's 22.10 in the uk.
Topic Started: Nov 1 2007, 05:12 PM (760 Views)
Alex
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Com'on you irons!
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I thought i would just say HELLO too everyone here tonight waiting for the grand opening :D ...
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brypop
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Brypop
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Hi everyone in Vindo-land, can't wait to see the new site, and set dates for next season.
HJCBs hope we meet up next year?
Bryan :rolleyes:
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Kate 13
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Kate F
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Hi everyone,
I'm waiting for the grand opening. HJCB ready for the new season. Kate.
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SacoHarry
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Woot woot. The new site looks great! Well done! Looking forward to getting myself registered and officially on the rolls for 2008!

Looks to be an exciting 5-year plan. But nothing pre-3rd century proposed between now and 2012?? Does that mean a 5-year dearth of new writing tablets, as well as all that other fabulously preserved material that makes Vindolanda so unique?? Ack!

- Harry
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Duncan
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Well, I 've done it and booked myself for 2 weeks next season. Wish it could be longer but I need to work for a living as well. lol. How was the booking process? To be honest it seemed more complicated than it used to be, but perhaps that's just me getting old. You now "buy " your excavation stint and put it in your shopping basket, along with any other goodies you may choose to purchase. Just got to wait now for Andy's confirmation, then the long winter months of anticpation and Uni dissertation to contemplate .

Duncan
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ericjacobson
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Hello All!

I was waiting at the keyboard last night--10:01 and I attempted to 'purchase' an excavation slot. No joy--got a 'your shopping cart is empty' when I tried to complete the transaction.

'So', says I to self, 'self, I bet that-there server is getting slammed sideways by crazed volunteers logging on from such diverse places as Patagonia, Australia, Maine and Scotland--the last two being home to particularly crazed folk--so you'd best just try again'.

So I did. And got myself registered.

Now, with luck, for his sins Justin will have to put up with me for two weeks next year. He'll be wondering what terrible things he did in a previous life to deserve my stupid jokes, no doubt.

Seriously, even if I'm not accepted ('dear Eric, we regret to inform you that, um, there will be serious flooding all season in 2008, no really there will be, so please don't bother coming...'}, I'll come to visit, at the least, just to say 'hello' to y'all and to see how the season progresses!

Good luck to everyone, and I hope to see you next year.
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ericjacobson
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SacoHarry
Nov 1 2007, 08:45 PM
Looks to be an exciting 5-year plan. But nothing pre-3rd century proposed between now and 2012?? Does that mean a 5-year dearth of new writing tablets, as well as all that other fabulously preserved material that makes Vindolanda so unique?? Ack!


Ah, but Harry: the 3rd and 4th centuries witnessed some of the most intriguing developments in Roman history.

Augustus was cool, if a bit humorless (or so BBC/HBO's 'Rome' has instructed me); your Hadrian was a clever fellow; Agricola was the Empire's Emissary to Those Blue-Painted Freaks Up North; Commodus looked like Joaquin Phoenix and played at swords--but for your real, down-home, stick-to-your-ribs good times, ya just gotta go with the third century. Civil wars, uncivil wars, barbarian incursions, accelerating changes in local and Empire-wide cultures and society; a whole world in transition. Principate to Dominate, divide the Empire into two, then four, have some barracks emperors, get some breakway 'empires' going...we're talking full-throttle, pedal-to-the-metal, no-holds-barred 'interesting times'.

What could--no, seriously, now--what could POSSIBLY be more fun?

Except for the last day of 406. THAT was serious good fun. I mean it.

I'm sick, really I am.
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Andy
Dr Andrew Robin Birley
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Hey all,

Good to have you on board for the 2008 season. The website is looking good, and at last, seems to be working. It just takes a little bit of patience to fill in the form. I am sorry about the troubles last night. We really had to push to get this up and running for the excavation bookings opening, so our poor web designers were working hard doing 18hour days for the past week to get it sorted. There are still a few glitches in the system, hence you might have to atempt to fill in the form twice. Don't worry, you won't be charged twice!

As for the complicated nature of the form, that is an unfortunate result of changing times. We need more info for insurance etc, so we need to ask more questions. Thus far (as of noon on the 2nd) we have had around 50 successful applications come through. There are a lot of places to fill, over 600, so nobody needs to panic just yet.

3rd 4th and 5th centuries are the focus of the next phase of work Harry, but if we are really good, and get what we need done on time.....well.........we might see what we can do. :-)

Best,

Andy
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SacoHarry
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ericjacobson
Nov 2 2007, 07:07 AM
Civil wars, uncivil wars, barbarian incursions, accelerating changes in local and Empire-wide cultures and society; a whole world in transition. Principate to Dominate, divide the Empire into two, then four, have some barracks emperors, get some breakway 'empires' going...we're talking full-throttle, pedal-to-the-metal, no-holds-barred 'interesting times'.

Hey Eric! True, it was a Six-Flags Thundercoaster of fun over on the Continent (isn't it always?). But in Britain what were they doing in the 3rd C? Turning barracks into chalets for crying out loud! A century of military families on holiday! It's like 100 years' worth of Seinfeld episodes (the famous American "show about nothing"). It's like "Desperate Housewives," only they weren't desperate... Just "Housewives".

Now 4th C, there you're talking! Constantine & the boys partying in York, "Paul the Chain," Maximus (no, not the Australian one), chalet-living semi-professional soldier-knockoffs running away from Picts screaming "Woad is meee!!!!", Theodosius kicking barbarian backside... I can get on board with C4. ;)

- Harry
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ericjacobson
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SacoHarry
Nov 2 2007, 09:18 AM


Now 4th C, there you're talking! Constantine & the boys partying in York, "Paul the Chain," Maximus (no, not the Australian one), chalet-living semi-professional soldier-knockoffs running away from Picts screaming "Woad is meee!!!!", Theodosius kicking barbarian backside... I can get on board with C4. ;)

Okay, we're good to go with the 4th c. I like Paul Catena, and Ammianus M, and of course the Comes Theodosius who laid some major whup on those barbarian conspirators.

NO MORE WIMPY 1st-3rd century history!

4th C RULES OK.

====
Okay, I've taken my meds and I'm better now. I'll be in Vindolanda late June-early July, so if you're there too we'll raise a pint to Theo, celebrate the Fourth of July with a few more beers, and possibly have a few more brews to commemorate Rome and Romans in general. And maybe some more beers to celebrate your baby, and, and....

I detect a pattern to my celebratory activities.
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Sue Munro
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Well I had to fill our forms in twice, but it didn't really take that long to do. So if you're having trouble, just smile and try again!
Can't wait for next March - I hope the weather matches the start of last season, but somehow I doubt it. I'd better start stocking up on thermals now! ;)
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Andy
Dr Andrew Robin Birley
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The 3rd and 4th and 5th century debate.

Just wanted to put some thoughts/questions out there that we will be turning our attention to over the next few years.

Although we 'Know' the 4th cohort of Gauls built the last stone fort at Vindolanda, can we support the notion that they remained in garrison for almost 200 years after then, when previous garrisons perhaps only stayed at Vindolanda for up to 20 years max?

What happens inside the fort when the vicus goes out of use cAD275-280? Where do all the people go? Do some of them move inside the fort? Is all of Vicus abandoned in cAD280? Justin's work may well hold some answers to this. What happened to the Vicani Vindolandenses?

If the vicus is abandoned mid 3rd century then rebuilt, and finally completely abandoned by cAD275-280, what happens to the garrison at this time. Is the fort also abandoned at the same time for a while?

Is the central range of the fort occupied by one granary or two? If only one, why just one, what was it storing, and what was the space for another granary being used for. If two, were they in use at the same time, have they ever been repaired or rebuilt during their lifetimes, and perhaps more crucially, where they the centre of 5th century occupation once the 'official' Roman army garrison had pulled out?

Was the 4th cohort of Gauls a proper part mounted regiment at full strength of 740 or 480? Was the NW quadrant of the fort occupied by stables or barracks or both? Were these occupied all the way through to the end of the 4th century? If not, what were they replaced by, and who used this area of the fort?

Was the road outside the principia turned into a market place, like it is thought to have happened at Newcastle and at Carlisle Roman forts? If so, when did this happen and how long was it used for?

In the vicus, does the cemetery move towards the fort walls in the late period? What type of buildings link the temple/workshop district to the rest of the settlement? Who lived in or used those buildings?

It is a shame that it is unlikely that we will have any writing tablets to help us out with such questions, it will be difficult to try and answer all of this, but it is the challenge of such questions which will help to make the next 5years SMC a thrilling one to be a part of. What we may well have, is quite a few inscriptions on stone to help compensate, and I am hopeful that we will get building inscriptions as well as personal dedications, which will have come from both inside and outside the wall of the fort. Why outside? because they used the vicus remains as a quarry to repair buildings on the inside of the fort, and as such there is a chance that some of those building stones will carry good information from the site as a whole.
Aside from all of this, some of the best artefacts to come from the site come from these periods, the painted gladiator glass (3rd century) the bronze bull headed lamp (4th century) and the portable Christian altar (5th century). Not to mention some stonking great stone buildings….what could possibly be more fun than that?

best,

Andy
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ericjacobson
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Quote:
 
Although we 'Know' the 4th cohort of Gauls built the last stone fort at Vindolanda, can we support the notion that they remained in garrison for almost 200 years after then, when previous garrisons perhaps only stayed at Vindolanda for up to 20 years max?


Very intriguing question, esp. given the near-collapse of the Empire in the third century, a period when--as near I can tell--the formal 'order of battle' for legions, at least, was hopelessly muddled. If legionary vexillations were being ordered off to far-away theaters of conflict, never to be seen again in their customary posts, presumably at least some auxiliary cohorts would have been pulled from 'quiet sectors' (eg, the Wall) as well to augment field forces elsewhere. While a legionary fortress or string of forts might retain most of the legionary cohort complement, I'd not be surprised to learn that auxilary troops--individual cohorts or alae--might also be yanked away from 'quiet areas', leaving a reduced Wall garrison.

OTOH, perhaps the Fourth remained where it was after all, while other cohorts were sent off to threatened sectors. Should be an interesting excavation period!

Quote:
 
What happens inside the fort when the vicus goes out of use cAD275-280? Where do all the people go? Do some of them move inside the fort? Is all of Vicus abandoned in cAD280? Justin's work may well hold some answers to this. What happened to the Vicani Vindolandenses?


Interesting indeed. I don't know of any proximate threats in the 270s which might've caused the civilian populace to decamp, but if the Fourth was pulled out for duty elsewhere, and nothing replaced them for a few years....

Just idle speculation, and I know I'm not supposed to theorize in advance of the data, so I'll shut up.

Quote:
 
If the vicus is abandoned mid 3rd century then rebuilt, and finally completely abandoned by cAD275-280, what happens to the garrison at this time. Is the fort also abandoned at the same time for a while?


Gotta wonder--the ad hoc field forces of the period may have required reinforcement from a 'quiet' British sector, with all that that implies for continuity of occupation. Is there any epigraphical attestation for the presence of the IV in the fourth century, or merely that 'some unit X' was in occupation as part of the Limitanei? Just curious, as if the IV were withdrawn to augment forces elsewhere sometime after 275, the fourth century occupation might then possibly have been by another cohort entirely?


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Andy
Dr Andrew Robin Birley
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Hi Eric,

Some info about the late 270's. :-)

272 - Aurelian reconquers East
274 - Aurelian reconquers West
275 - Aurelian murdered- new emperor Tacitus
276 - Tacitus murdered in the east, new Emperor Probus
278 - governor of Britain attempts a coup, it fails
282 - Probus murdered, Carus is the new emperor
283 - Carus dies on campaign against Persians in East - succeeded by his Son Numerian in east, in west by other son Carinus
284 - Numerian dies in east -, 20th of November Diocletian proclaimed emperor, Carinus murdered by his own side.

best,

Andy
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archjsmith
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Im all booked (after numerous failed attempts) and very excited to be going back for my 3rd season with Andy, although im not very happy that I can only manage one week (13th-17th July)! To be honest I really shouldn't even be doing that when I have a masters dissertation due in on the 25th July- eek!

Hope everyones ok?
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