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Justin Blake's official Vindolanda excavation Twitter feed

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They are not designed to scale, nor to imply archaeological accuracy.

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Week 5; 30 Apr - 4 May
Topic Started: Apr 30 2012, 06:30 AM (1,371 Views)
SacoHarry
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Hi Week 5'ers. What's happening? Looks from Justin's tweet this morning that there will be plenty of new ground opened up. Fingers crossed for a great week!
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mooseandhobbes
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Ooh, it's looking good.
I can't wait for the weekend to come and I'll be on my way oop norf. :D
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snowglobe
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The sun has failed to arrive this morning but may be behind the thick Northumberland mist? More photos later if the camera can find something to focus on!
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snowglobe
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The cloudy start ended in a very sunny day, plenty getting moved in wheelbarrows. I am now removing the cap of clay on the north end of the severan ditch (now freed the water is rising nicely under my boots!)
photo 1 shows the slab which was lifted this week and the hole is behind it with the alter base
photo 2 is a general photo of the site taken from cardiac hill!
photo 3 is of the causeway over the severan ditch running along side the aqueduct, more stones exposed since the last image
Photo 4 showing my trench (top square) opening up into the severan ditch looking from the diggers hut towards the bath house
Photo 5 a new trench cut across the Antonine ditch, hard work for that team helped by Andy. there are marked showing post holes on the right of the ditch
Photo 6 showing the N - S road as cleaned today looking good.
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maryb_10
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Thanks for posting the photos! Your trench is right next to where I was at the end of last week. (I was in the corner, working back toward your location) I look forward to hearing about the developments in that area over the next few weeks. :)

As for the weather...we had two weeks of rain, but I still managed to get a sunburn and a whole bunch of freckles. (my pale, pale skin is rocking a killer farmer's tan at work this week!) That Northumberland sun sneaks up on you!
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SacoHarry
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That Severan causeway is a thing of beauty! Having found it, does that mean it's now known where the Severan west gate was??
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snowglobe
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I'm sure in the staff digging hut the theories are talked over but no word as to if it has been pinned down. Metcheck is showing a healthy amount of sun for week 6
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snowglobe
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Cold but generally sunny day with odd shower, some great progress made but plenty awaiting the weeks ahead. Harry has my photos so hopefully they show the site as of Friday finish.
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SacoHarry
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As Pete said, a great batch of end-of-week pictures. Amazing what's been done in little more than a month! Pete was working in the NE corner of 4a in the plan below:
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Here in his words:

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"Had some rain today hence a raindrop on the lens but it's been a good week for digging. This shot shows the old Birley trenches with interesting round structures, may be pre roman?"

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"Looking east at the causeway over the Severan ditch today"

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"Rainy shot of the road possibly built over the Flattened Severan rampart, nice new road drain appearing on right." (standing at S end of 4b, looking south)

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"Looking south along the Severan ditch an interesting stain appearing (centre)"

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"My trench cut into the ditch, two hard days clearing rock and clay cap. Water is now pouring in. No finds but the diggers further down the site found pond weed & twigs so the preservation in there shows promise. Roll on Monday. Paved slabs next to the wheelbarrow seem to be rising over another boggy area?"

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"Looks like the north/south road great drainage ditches on both sides." (SE corner of 4c, looking north)

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"Andy showing Tony Birley the ancestral trenches dug in the 30's. Now modern pumps helping keep then dry(ish)."
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Justin-T
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Wow, great stuff, keep it coming...
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MBetz
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Thanks for sharing the photos.
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SacoHarry
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Question about the aqueduct. It obviously runs right toward the N/S vicus road. Back when it was operating, did it cross the road? Go under it? Was it an open water channel like a drain? A closed-off boxed channel that you had to walk over? Or did it terminate at the road in a (now gone) trough/tank?
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Bill Grigg
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Fantastic to see how much has happened since I was there in week 1 - we started on the section of road next to the aqueduct to the west of the access path.

Not due back for another week of digging until 25th June but hope to pop in on Wednesday (9th) to have a look at how things are going. I'm driving down to the south coast from Scotland over Wednesday/Thursday but will make a detour as there seems to be so much going on!

Bill
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snowglobe
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Having a sunny weekend so decided to walk the wall from turret 33a over to Housesteads, wasn't banking on the snow that landed on me going over Sewingshields crag! Cold but sunny again, fields are snow free. Went north of the wall to look for a roman inscription up on Queens crag"60ft from the rabbit stone" however failed to find any trace,anyone else tried?
David was on site yesterday de turfing and keeping the pumps running, Welles are a must this season.
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Andy
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week 5 team.

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