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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 6; 7 May - 11 May
Topic Started: May 7 2012, 08:32 AM (2,164 Views)
SacoHarry
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Justin's tweet this morning suggests much excitement for the week ahead! What's happening?
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Badger
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Vindolanda Week Six, Day “minus one”

A long weary journey to the familiar environs of Vindolanda.

The good folks at the Hedley Center were kind enough to let me check in early, after which I slept for 4 solid hours.

Up and at ‘em for dinner and a rather enjoyable “First Pint at the Twicey” where we had more than half of the Week Six crew in attendance.

I have decided that any speculation on the weather is bad luck, so I can simply report that one hour before the start of the digging week there is nothing coming out the sky but sunshine.

Ran into Andrew on an early morning stroll. One word description of the site thus far:

“Wet”.

Internet connection from the Hedley is not working, so I shall post this from the Twice Brewed this evening. Ah, the lengths to which your intrepid correspondent will go to keep you informed. But we must all sacrifice for the advance of knowledge, indeed we must.

Overlooking the north east corner of the fort….

Tim Wolter
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Badger
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Posted Image

http://z1.ifrm.com/7061/121/0/f5014688/vindo12dayone024.jpg


Lead mold for a phallic decorative/good luck charm. Rather small, how much luck would it bring?

This item was given the ok by the Powers that Be. Several other nice small finds on a day of dry skies and cool breezes.

More as modern techology allows.

Tim Wolter
Edited by Badger, May 7 2012, 05:51 PM.
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Justin-T
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I'll resist the strong temptation to make some off-colour jokes.

Nice picture Tim! And looking forward to seeing some more.

All the new areas being uncovered are making this especially good for vicarious WeDiggers. Fascinating to see it all gradually unveiled on the forum. What I'm also trying to figure out is whether anyone digging in July will be in the vicus/new area, or if we'll all be over in the North field?
Edited by Justin-T, May 7 2012, 02:57 PM.
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snowglobe
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Hopefully my photos have reached Harry? Dry but bitterly cold today . Lots of nice features appearing. Cutting down into the Severan ditch tomorrow if the weather holds?
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SacoHarry
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Photos have arrived! Look fab -- should have them up tonight. Great shots of the Severan ditch and new surface (?).
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Badger
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internet link re-established. Prior photo needs to be reduced in size. Frankly, its not that big.

T.W.
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Badger
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With internet sort of working a few thoughts.

The area we are currently digging in is different from others I have been in over the past four seasons. The features are a road-the nicest I have seen outside the two main ones in the fort-and defensive ditches. The ditches were so deep and wide that there seems to have been minimal efforts to build later structures over them.

As such the finds are going to be different, we think. Less the sort of thing that would be lost accidentally and more the kind of stuff tossed in with intent.

Or so goes the theory.

Weather uncertain tomorrow, but overall the week looks metorologically better than the previous damp ages.

T.Wolter

ps, I anticipate and preemptively protest photos of me that Snowglobe is likely to have taken.
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SacoHarry
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Pics from snowglobe as promised!

First, as before, quick review of current trenches:
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"Photo from today showing the new de turfed area with a possible building coming through, Jim's trench now full of water again. Lovely lead Phallus found by a newbie only hours in! Rain to finish but a dry day. Freezing cold though" (West end of 4a looking east)

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"Looking north up the Severan ditch? New surface coming through, finding plenty of pottery in my trench at the north end, holds promise for Tuesday" (Standing at south of 4b, looking north)
*** Pete - that cobbling that's showing up there at the bottom (south) of the pic -- is that an earlier vicus road? Or is that another causeway across the Severan ditch, in service at the same time as the ditch?

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"Top of the Severan trench, badger found the ditch edge, on the left centre next to the propped up wheelbarrow."
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SacoHarry
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Also big thanks to Terry & Pauline for another great collection of photos. Follow this link: http://opa.cig2.canon-europe.com/s/m/F2mCgeWY8Ux (will try to copy shots over here next free moment)

Message from Pauline: "Vindolanda Week 6 Day 1, diggers stuck in after tea on a cold Bank Holiday Monday. Thankfully the promised rain, the scourge of many a British Bank Holiday, held off and we got the whole day in. Pete, alias Snowglobe, is going to take pictures of the archaeology this week so we said we'd send "people" photos rather than send more photos of the same thing."
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Badger
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A story in pictures.
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Very, very well preserved wood. What I can't post is the delightful smell of anaerobes that still lingers on my hands. Time for a shower.

Spoil heap management is an issue. This morning we came on site and found the "Andrewnine Wall" across the top of the heap! An obvious direction on where to dump!

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Some rather nice bricks popped up just before rain shortened our day.


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Seems to have one half of a script message on it. Tantalizingly close to readable.

I rather like this one.

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The indents near the top are either animal tracks or more likely a series of finger imprints from the brickmaker.

Tim Wolter
Edited by Badger, May 8 2012, 09:50 AM.
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Badger
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An interesting day on my end of the site. Theories spring to life, live brief mayfly existences and perish. Organic material is starting to turn up in better shape, with anaerobic layers not far off. But water and logistics will challenge.....

Not as many small finds as yesterday, and probably the understanding of the site and its structures has not advanced much. Tomorrow perhaps.

T.Wolter
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SacoHarry
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Phenomenal pics Tim! The fingerprints always get me, and that half-legible script must be maddening.

Another great batch of shots from snowglobe follow:

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"Sunshine to start the day as work continues over the ditch, the extra cobbles at the south end of the street maybe the hardstanding to unload carts into the storehouse ? Rain stopped play early but Badgers trench throwing up interesting ditch cutting into the Severan one." (Standing at in central/north section of 4b, looking south)

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"Not the grim reaper but Terry chasing the causeway under the cobbled road"

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"Here we have Tim (badger) offering thoughts on a cross cut ditch in his trench, looks like he is offering two suggestions with his right hand" (nice symbolic gesture Tim!)

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"One of badger in thoughtful mood"

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"As badger posted his wood picture, this is an in situ shot, nice black an aerobic layer, the tile came out of the same area."

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"Heavy rain filling trenches, hopefully better morning tomorrow? Looking east across the Severan ditch. Centre is a possible cut for a later ditch."
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Justin-T
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Agreed on the photo quality. Superb.

Tim & snow, you seem to have a hit a really good week to be there; those anaerobic layers might be smelly, but there always seem to be some fascinating finds in it...
Edited by Justin-T, May 8 2012, 10:42 PM.
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SacoHarry
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I'm remiss! Another great set of "action shots" (or, by mid-day "inaction shots"?) by Terry & Pauline from Day 2, here: http://opa.cig2.canon-europe.com/s/m/B8N8mMACu7x
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