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Week 6
Topic Started: May 8 2011, 10:33 AM (2,426 Views)
SacoHarry
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End of Day 4. Started with rain & more rain. Spent an hour in an interesting lecture by Andy. Nice overview to the site, some context for the early finds/levels, and tantalizing tidbits for a maybe Agricolan-era fort in the north field. (In other words, a decade earlier than the earliest known fort.)

Rain let up enough to get late-morning digging in. More drizzle in early PM but not enough to stop work. Then at tea break much of the crew took the pilgrimage to the Roman Army Museum. 8 or 9 or us stayed behind to keep working the trenches.

Temple Street is slowly eroding back to nothing all up and down its length. The goal has been to strip away the 3rd-4th C road surfaces to reveal the Antonine barrack that should be underneath. Today the crews finally did it. At the far northern part, our trio of teenagers (Roz & Brinna (sp?) from Canada and Rebecca from Michigan) uncovered the last battered bits of foundation (along with massive burning on top of the Antonine cobbles nearby). Just south of us, Pete was the first to hit proper Antonine barrack facing stones, and the wall looks great. Exactly where it should be.

Sunny (Suni? Don't know, sorry!!) and I kept working our flagstone-floored feature, which is coming up beautifully. It looks Severan, though not necessarily a roundhouse. It even, finally, elicited an under-the-breath "ooh" from our fearless excavation director. Though he probably won't admit it. The bizarre drain/oven further to the south being worked by Jeff (Geoff? I really must write down names!) and crew is still holding its mystery tight. As Temple Street narrows to nothing, a few folks are being pulled back to the northern area of the old Site #2 to trowel back areas.

Overall, it was a solid half-day of largely road demolition, with some unexpected bits coming up here and there. Sparse on finds, though Roz did pull out a beautiful, intact green melon bead, Sunny got a bronze brooch or stud, along with a few other bits up & down the line.

One more day. Sad.

A couple pictures to follow later this evening!
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Badger
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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.
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SacoHarry
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At Manchester airport, got WiFi for the moment. Like Tim said, lot of raindrop-dodging yesterday. Plus our crew was pulled off for surveying, so limited digging the last day. We did bash out all the rest of Temple Ave down to Severan/earlier levels. There's a beautiful bit of flagging that Sunny and I worked on, and some highly burned cobbling/slag/bone fragments where Roz, Brenna, and Rebecca were working. No Antonine wall, and even Andy & Justin are left wondering what's been happening.

Great week, sad to leave. Had so much fun seeing old friends, making new ones. Will definitely be back!!
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SophieDobson
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Harry it was great to meet you this last week. Anyone who was at Vindolanda before the beginning of this week would most certainly see an amazing difference where Temple Street is/was.

My pictures of the cobbles and beautiful drain in the South part of the trenches are to follow.. that was some amazing effort put in by Drew and Barbara this week who were my partners in crime, even with our finds so thin on the ground..

Here's hoping for good weather next week.
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Badger
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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?)
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SacoHarry
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A few pics from team "Down the Drain" on our last couple of days last week.

#1: Gorgeous intact melon bead found by Roz

#2: Angled shot looking south down dying remains of 3rd/4th C "Temple Ave". Foreground shows the flagged flooring that Sunny & I found. At extreme bottom right is the confusing burned cobbling/slag/bone area where Roz, Brenna, & Rebecca worked.

#3: Roz & Brenna troweling back cobbled area looking for Antonine wall foundation. (Andy in background looking flummoxed.)

#4: Brenna, Rebecca, and some guy with bad hair & worse fashion sense.

#5: Sunny proudly brushing dust off of our lovely flagged floor.

Edit: PS: Great meeting you too Sophie! It really was amazing to watch the old road just melt hour by hour. The difference between Monday & Friday was amazing.
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Edited by SacoHarry, May 16 2011, 07:33 AM.
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sandydeacon
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Well you guys (Harry and Badger) have certainly given the rest of us something to live up to with you posts for week 6. Anthea and I are back for week 9, so I shall take my laptop and try and keep up the good work.
Sorry to have missed you Harry!
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SacoHarry
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I'm sorry too Sandy! We've had some pretty fab trenches, haven't we? At least it'll be nice seeing what you guys are up to in a couple weeks.
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katesf
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Hi Harry,

Great picture of that stamp. But it is not the Sennivs Stamp that was found last week! I thought that the Sennivs stamp was yours. From what I can see in the photo, your stamp is AN[...]. Wires crossed sorry. I will send you an update when I have a chance to look at it more closely. Lots of mortaria stamps so far this season, approx. 10 so far.

All the best,
Kate
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SacoHarry
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Hey Kate!!

I think I just uploaded a really cruddy picture. I found a better one of the same bit of mortarium, facing right-side up this time. After you said "SENN" it sure looks like it to me!

Amazing how many stamps have come up so far, and it's only mid-May! I already want to get on a plane and head back over.
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katesf
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Thats great Harry! You were right. It is a SENNIVS stamp. Couldn't see it right from the first picture. But the next shot is clear. There was a tile found today stamped LEG VI V, finder was Graham Collie. I found a gaming counter made out of Samian ware.

All the best,
Kate.
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snowglobe
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Thanks to all those on the dig over the last four weeks, I had a great time not least because of you all. I hope my bit of Antonine wall really does turn out to be just that? I'll be back to provide more hot spring weather next year!
Cheers Pete
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snowglobe
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Some photos of the last few weeks
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snowglobe
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I guess by now the roadway will have been cleared back again, large flags showing and what was possibly be the Antonine foundation wall ?
Week 3 and the surveying team
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MBetz
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Thanks to everyone who has posted their pictures and stories. It has been tough not being able to make it back for the past few years. Hopefully soon the pecuniary gods will shine upon Katie and I and we can make it back to see the new museum and get stuck in to the wonderful archaeology. Cheers!
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