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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.

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Week 19; 8 Aug - 12 Aug
Topic Started: Aug 11 2011, 08:14 AM (1,036 Views)
SacoHarry
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The theme of this week seems clear:

Posted Image

Good luck to all slogging through, hope you get some sunshine & digging in!

(Note, these images are screen captures from the So How's the Weather? WeDig page. You can always check the page out and see live Webcams from throughout the region.)

EDIT: At the moment, the Newcastle Web-camera seems to have been knocked out of position and is just pointed down at the rooftop where it's mounted. Not a stirring image, that. But the others are all up & running.
Edited by SacoHarry, Aug 11 2011, 08:37 AM.
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Sue Munro
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Oh dear, I liked Justin's 'tweets' about biblical rains and training for a certificate in underwater archaeology. Still, this comes from commenting on how little excavation time had been lost this season and how far ahead of schedule the team are!
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MickArchaeology
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Just got back home from the site, having given up on Week 19 when BBC Look North forecast rain from Wednesday thru til Sunday.
Thought you all might like to see a pic of the ditch that Justin has been mentioning.

It is situated in the Centurion's house of the middle barrack block. The picture is taken looking South.

Note the wooden posts in the foreground and some collapsed wicker fencing on the south side of the ditch. The long section in the background was dug by my wife Muriel and myself on Monday and Tuesday this week and proved that:
a) there was no second ditch
b) there was an extensive area of rampart behind the ditch.

The wet conditions (we had 5 days of rain between 1st-10th) meant that it was not possible to do much in the ditch itself. Cannot wait to hear whether any tablets come out of it as it is full of lovely laminate and second century horse manure.

Mick and Muriel James
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Attachments: IMAG0111.jpg (1.93 MB)
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SacoHarry
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Brilliant pic! Are the posts from a later period than the ditch? (i.e., a fence or wall that was built on top of the back-filled ditch?) Or were they defensive stakes at the outside lip of the ditch? (I'd never heard of the latter at Vindolanda, but there always seems to be some great new discovery each year.)
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MickArchaeology
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Jury is still out, I think. Because the weather has significantly kept us out of the ditch, dating evidence is still awaited but the thought is that the ditch is likely to be period IV or earlier.

There are a number of other attempts to get down to the ditch in progress up to about 20 metres eastwards.
All that is needed is some good weather before the end of the season to answer the questions

Fingers crossed

Mick
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PaulineM
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Left the site this morning. Nowt happening for last 3 days. Took a few photos at approx 10.00 hrs, before we left. Will be downloaded soon.
Various places were visited to pass the time. Terry and I took a couple of Americans, a Spanish chap and an English lady round Corbridge Roman site and Aydon castle, a late 13th century fortified manor. Tullie House museum in Carlisle was visited the day before. Tesco in Hexham was also blitzed.
Further work was done on the drain in the vicus on Monday and Tuesday and promising stone work was revealed on a north-south axis.
Back on the 29th.
No group photo unfortunately.
Edited by PaulineM, Aug 12 2011, 08:39 AM.
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TomS
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I was digging in the area marked '1' on the week 19 map, with my sons and we were well organised by Trudi, who also coped well with the boys' banter! We shifted tons of rubble and clay on Mon and Tues and got down onto the top of the ditch - and then the rains came...

We found pieces of amphora and the neck of a glass bottle and Trudi also found a melon bead. We had to leave the potentially much more interesting stuff untouched in the ditch, which was under about 4 feet of water by Friday!

Tom
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SacoHarry
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Yikes, the swimming pool that is Vindolanda! Thanks much for the news Tom; that's very cool that you guys were able to come down on top of the ditch at least. I'll bet it was maddening to watch it get buried!
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TomS
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Thanks Harry - yes, very frustrating! It was my first dig - although both of the boys have been several times before - so to get so close to a ditch on your first dig and then have to walk away was somewhat disappointing, although I appreciate that many diggers with much more experience than me may not even have got that close!

There's always next year...
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beaktastic
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Nice to hear that more work was done on the drain in vicus, having been one of the people who de-turfed and got down to that in week... 16. Nice that promising stone work has been found! Interested to see/hear what else happens to it. Photos anyone?
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SacoHarry
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I've got a fab set of the vicus photos on my computer that Terry & Pauline sent in. I've been remiss in getting them resized & uploaded. Will try to make sure to do that today.
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SacoHarry
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Here we go, some of the shots from PaulineM. First, the Flood:

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SacoHarry
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Next, out west of the fort in the vicus, the well-preserved 3rd-C drain, and well-made building foundations behind it:

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SacoHarry
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Lastly, just a few meters west of the well-made building foundations, diggers in Wk 19 revealed another fairly well-made wall fragment, but then a pretty terrible line of stones running off at an angle:

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SacoHarry
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For more, and higher-res, pics, check out Pauline's album here.

Attached is a little diagram showing about where the vicus trench is in relation to the rest of the site.
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Attachments: Vicus_Crew___Aug_2011.jpg (54.04 KB)
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