Welcome Guest [Log In] [Register]

Justin Blake's official Vindolanda excavation Twitter feed

Unless otherwise noted, all plans below are unofficial interpretations only.
They are meant to help orient diggers & friends.
They are not designed to scale, nor to imply archaeological accuracy.

Welcome to We Dig Vindolanda!

Username:   Password:
Add Reply
  • Pages:
  • 1
Let the fun begin!; Opening week, 2011 digging season
Topic Started: Apr 3 2011, 08:27 PM (1,070 Views)
SacoHarry
Member Avatar
Administrator
[ *  * ]
It's showtime! Here's hoping for great weather, great crews, great fun, and some great archaeology. All WeDig'ers, any thoughts/pics you have of the opening week, please send them. Either a post here, or even a quick one-line text/email to text_style@hotmail.com if that's all you have a chance for.

Happy digging!
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
Terry S
Member
[ *  * ]
Wet and windy start for day one. Operations commenced with an introductory 30 minute introduction by Kevin. Followed by a trip around the new, very impressive museum. A short break for tea (naturally), then out into Northumberland's finest April weather. No stoppages! Typically, as we were finishing at 4.30, the sun and blue sky came out.
Twenty six excavators, split into 5 teams of 5 (one had 6) and each allocated an area to do the business.
No spoil heap initially (gasp), but a pimple north of the North gate is now growing.
Rain is forecast tomorrow morning and then fine for the rest of the week. Halleluja!
Photos will probably follow at some point.

Terry S
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
Badger
Member Avatar
Member
[ *  * ]
I had imagined that the next phase would be digging through the floors of 5th c. buildings to see what lies beneath....or is there some other approach?

T Wolter
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
Terry S
Member
[ *  * ]
Day 3 : Tim - I think that is the ultimate aim - early days yet. I'm not au fait with what the other teams are doing, but our team are in the process of chasing a very long barrack wall northwards and getting closer to the North Gate. We've also removed soil to the depth of about 5 inches and are down to small cobbles in places. No significant finds, mainly 3rd century pottery.
Overnight rain left the site a wee bit soggy, so we all decamped to Carvoran at 9.30 (inspecting new museum and the 3D movie - not to be missed!). Early lunch and finally started excavations at 12.45. Teams are rotating pottery washing and surveying, each lasting a good hour. The pottery being washed is from the 2009, 2010 and current excavations.
The weather was much improved this afternoon, though a tad windy. Good forecast for the next two days!
Tomorrow night is the "get together" buffet night commencing at 18.30. This will be in the new Hedley Building and will be a regular Thursday night attraction.
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
SacoHarry
Member Avatar
Administrator
[ *  * ]
Great notes! I really like the sound of the Thursday night buffets too, nice touch.

Are you just to the right (east) of the flagstone-paved north-south road that leads from the HQ out to the North Gate? (Trying to visualize so I can update the plan.) I think I remember that the beginnings of the barrack wall was found there late last year.
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
Malise McGuire
Malise McGuire
[ *  * ]
There can't be much pottery left to wash from 2010 - I (and others) washed most of it and there wasn't a back-log when we left on the last day of the excavation <g>

A lot of Floatation bags were waiting for somebody to deal with...... have fun! Phew! Smelly!

Malise
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
Terry S
Member
[ *  * ]
Harry - we are just about north of the flags, with a twitch to the north east. I took some pix today and when I suss out the procedure, I'll post a few.
Malise - there was a just a small amount from earlier years.
The buffet meal went off fine with lots of intermingling and tasty morsels. It actually started at 1800 and was due to finish about 2000 hrs. I didn't stay to the bitter end as I faced a trip of 43.4 miles back home to Durham.
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
Hadriana
Member
[ *  * ]
Great week! Really enjoyed meeting people - some new hands and some "old". I could easily get addicted to this stuff! Very good introduction to excavating...hands on digging, pot washing, surveying. More please. :)
Edited by Hadriana, Apr 11 2011, 11:34 AM.
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
Hadriana
Member
[ *  * ]
Terry - Great to chat to you about Binchester and Piercebridge. If you follow the Hadriana links www. hadrianastreasures.com there's an e-mail there for me. (It's Catherine of Four Wynds BTW.) I'll look up your suggestion of the Raymond Selkirk book - sounds fascinating.

Harry - I'll e-mail you the photos of the week. Hope you are well!
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
Hadriana
Member
[ *  * ]
P.S.: Got the chance to dig out a hearth - front of barracks area. All great stuff.
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
Terry S
Member
[ *  * ]
Hadriana - sorry I didn't bring the book in - a combination of not knowing where I had filed it and letting it slip my mind. Two books by Raymond Selkirk I would hereto recommend; The Piercebridge Formula (1983, revisions 1995) and On the trail of the Legions (1995). Both very easy to read, great photos (largely Northumberland and Durham). Ray knew his engineering stuff and utilised this knowledge to formulate his theories. Regrettably, he died a few years back. Walking with him was always a joy as he was an inexhaustable fund of anecdotes and fascinating facts. Lots of Roman roads were explored and suspected unknown fort/fortlets investigated. Enjoy!
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
roymarsden
Member
[ *  * ]
I had a really good week last week. Thank you to the professionals and the volunteers for a really enjoyable week. My photos are on flickr....

http://www.flickr.com/photos/roymarsden25/sets/72157626341995971/
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
Badger
Member Avatar
Member
[ *  * ]
Regards that wall just to the east of the main road..

A year ago as we uncovered the road we saw a lot of this feature, and it was a vexing puzzle. In general it looked as if a substantial wall had fallen onto the road. Since small finds were few and very worn this suggested a long disused structure collapsing in the post Roman era. But in places it sure looked as if something had been built on top of the road.

Most likely these were "pseudo features", rocks that fall in a rough circle can look like supports for timbers, and a tier that falls over in formation could resemble a threshhold.

Did this become any less confusing? Since the road pavers looked to be more robbed out as you go north I imagine the answer is no.

And was there ever a gutter between the road and the wall? Lack decent drains on the most important road in the place struck me as most peculiar....

Tim Wolter
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
Hadriana
Member
[ *  * ]
Many thanks, Terry, for your comments and book recommendations. Will definitely look into those.

Tim - Many thanks for your comment over at my blog...look forward to reading more of your blog posts.
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
SacoHarry
Member Avatar
Administrator
[ *  * ]
Terry S has posted a collection of Week 1 shots here. (They've helped me flesh out the Area of Excavations Wk 1 post.) Below are the low-res mid-sized shots from the album, with captions.
Posted Image
"Team Centurion" in front of, to the south of, the North gate. Justin was standing on one of the large flags.

Posted Image
In the foreground, two Picts who made it over Hadrian's Wall. Val and Ed will probably come back next year.

Posted Image
Just when you want to relax and have a much deserved cup of tea/coffee, a form to fill in.
Looks like it was all too much for the chap at bottom left.

Posted Image
Looking west. Large flagstones off picture to the left. Short journey to the spoilheap through the North gate. Hallelujah!

Posted Image
Geordie bottom with two Scottish frontages. Ground initially wet, but dried up nicely with the prevailing wind. Not too many finds all week - two nice bits of thick amphora handle and bits and pieces of pottery.
Edited by SacoHarry, Apr 17 2011, 08:18 AM.
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
Go to Next Page
« Previous Topic · 2011 · Next Topic »
Add Reply
  • Pages:
  • 1