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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 8; 21 May - 25 May
Topic Started: May 21 2012, 10:12 AM (1,264 Views)
SacoHarry
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Got a great set of photos from sarcanon yesterday showing the site on a sunny day just prior to the beginning of Week 8. Here's how things looked before the fun started back up this morning!

First, updated plan:
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Here are sarcanon's shots
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This is the set of 3 trenches Badger had many commentaries on last week. Labeled 7 a,b,c in the plan. From SE corner of 7c looking NW. The far westerly (7a) seems hopelessly filled with groundwater at the moment. The nearest, 7c, seems to have a "rectilinear feature" in stone. No word on date/era -- though it looks like at best foundation stones. 7b, disappearing off to the right of the pic, is high & dry. Early days on that trench.

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From west edge of 4a looking east-ish across all of 4a, b, & c. Badger's 'Sunny Valley' is dead center. 'Colonial Corner' is to top left.

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This image shows the current state of the mid-section of 4a, from S edge of 4a looking N. The western edge of what's left of the aqueduct. This is the natural clay subsoil with the deep cuts into it. Apparently an interesting place with a lot of confusing stuff going on.

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Where 4a & 4b meet, a view of the aqueduct with Severan causeway stones visible and ditches being explored. Apparently there are 2 ditches here, both north-south, both probably of different eras. Maybe one Antonine (Period VI/VI-A) & the later one Severan (Period VI-B)? Confused about this.

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This shot from same location but looking SE across "anaerobe gulch." If you look at the turf line right where the edge of the trenches are, to the left the turf rises as it rolls over the vicus road. To the right, it slumps in the middle, subsiding into the backfilled Severan/Antonine ditches underneath.

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From the south of 4b looking north, showing the work being done to make sense of the ditch(es) in this area.

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4a at the north, looking south. Substantial stonework with nice edges uncovered here, lying under (and thus presumably earlier than) the vicus aqueduct.

Thanks much for the pics! Hope Week 8 is a great one.
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SacoHarry
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And another nice set of pics from sarcanon this evening after the first day's dig. Here's a selection of them:

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Northern part of Site 4a, looking south, showing progress on sarcanon's wall underlying the aqueduct

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Newly deturfed extension of southern part of 4a, looking east

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'Anaerobe Gulch' facing southeast

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Site 7c, facing roughly west -- trench is being extended to the south

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'Broad view of Trenches '4a' and '4b', facing south-east. In mid-view, Andy and Justin are discussing the feature at their feet, uncovered very late in the day, which is as yet unknown, but might possibly be a well.'

A full day of digging with no rain?? Can it be?
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snowglobe
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Great shots, can't wait to see for myself tomorrow. Here's hoping for this weather to hold
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Claire_M
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Great to see how it's progressing - thanks for posting these. Right, back to what I should be doing...
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SacoHarry
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Check out Justin's Twitter post this morning, and the photo attached. The ditches and sarcanon's wall (robust squared stonework that lies just under the aqueduct) are amazing! So Justin says the ditches are part of the Antonine annex. That's Period VI-A. And obviously the aqueduct up on top is for the vicus/bath-house, that's Period VII. So is sarcanon's wall Severan, VI-B?

And if the ditches are Antonine, then I guess that means that the causeway that was also found under the aqueduct is Antonine?
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mooseandhobbes
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There is something fairly mighty going on there ... and best of all, it's not blooming raining! :D

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snowglobe
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Wow 24oc on site today for my visit so everyone looking hot but happy, great to meet some fellow Wediggers (hello Scot)
Some photos to post to add to Scotts excellent photos this week.
photo 1 I've posted this before but its interesting to see the difference since Febuary
photo 2 todays view
photo 3 long view over the dig
photo4 the wall over the aqueduct as mentioned in Justins tweet, Andy seems to think its part of an earlier water system. To think I was digging next to it for two wweks!
photo 5 a view looking south down the Severan ditch showing the new exposed wall
photo 6 the causeway today looking west
photo 7 Scott pointing out features
photo 8 Justins pool next to the diggers hut
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Edited by snowglobe, May 23 2012, 03:01 PM.
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SacoHarry
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Wow. Love it!

You know, there's something very cool about that massive stone wall being found in the ditch(es) by the north side of the aqueduct. It doesn't seem to be subsiding at all into the backfilled muck. At least not from the photos. Does that mean that was built at the same time as the ditch system? Or that it was later but was just surprisingly well built so it didn't settle?
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Fiona D
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Fantastic to see the sun after weeks of cold, wet weather - and Scott's wall. Great photos Scott & Pete - thanks.
Edited by Fiona D, May 23 2012, 04:30 PM.
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SacoHarry
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And another fab set of pictures came via email from Scott/sarcanon this evening.

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Site 4a looking south, the big honkin' wall uncovered by Scott & Graham

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Site 4a facing south-east. Andy, Justin, Pete (snowglobe), and Dana look on

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Newly deturfed section of southern 4a, starting to descend

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Site 7c, opening up (site 7b appearing to be near to merging with it). That rectilinear "thing" seems to have 3 sides on it -- 4th long gone.

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Site 4b, facing north, showing the two side-by-side Antonine ditches

An embarrassment of riches this year, and it's wonderful! Thanks to snowglobe & sarcanon for all of these.
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SacoHarry
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One more set of pictures from sarcanon showing what a week of sunny weather can do!

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Site 4a, looking south -- the huge wall under the later aqueduct keeps going down; 5 courses visible in this pic

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Site 4a, looking east -- the older wall also runs quite a way; what is that, at least 15-20 ft exposed?

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Recently uncovered bit of southern edge of 4a/4b, looking east -- the diagonal-running roadway in Justin's tweets. (I will have to rethink my trench numbering scheme for sure.)

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Site 7b/c, looking north -- the baulk between coming down and the trench opening wider

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The southern extension of 4a/4b, looking north -- the diagonal road in foreground, the natural clay subsoil with scratch-marks behind, then the vicus aqueduct overall. Is it just me, or does that road look lower/earlier than the level of the aqueduct?

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Site 4b from the south looking north along the two side-by-side Antonine ditches; N/S vicus roadway visible on right.

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Site 4b/a from east looking west. How do those -massive- "causeway" stones under the aqueduct relate with the massive wall being uncovered to the right (north) of the aqueduct?

Neat stuff this year.
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Badger
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"Neat stuff this year."

As every year!

But the vicus does tend to bring out the more enigmatic finds and features.

T.Wolter
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mooseandhobbes
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All I have to add to that is..."oooooh"

:)
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snowglobe
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All posted before but a run of Photos showing the causeway as it progressed from week 2,5 and 8. The wall running under it looks stunning.
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SacoHarry
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A final roundup from Scott/sarcanon. What a week it must have been!

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'A blue glass melon bead, fully intact, excavated by Lisa V (Corieltauvia)'

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'Wall in northern part of 4a, facing south'

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'Same, a little further to east, where continuation of wall is being uncovered by Graham. Justin and Andy and pretty certain this wall continues underneath the path into the area on the east side.' (That's quite a wall! What on earth was it for?)

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'Same feature, facing west'

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'4b, facing north'

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'4c [from southern extension] facing north-northwest, showing second drain [entering into the n/s road drain]'

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'Southern side of 4a, with newly exposed road heading northwest. To (and from) where are yet to be determined.'

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'The Canadians (Kathryn, Kieran, Drew, and Erin) worshiping at the 'something' they uncovered in the intersection of 7b and 7c'

Keep this pace up & they'll be opening trenches in the parking lot by August! Thanks so much for all the pictures & updates. Looks like it was an amazing week on site.
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