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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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Session 2; 15 - 26 April
Topic Started: Apr 14 2013, 06:29 AM (2,290 Views)
snowglobe
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Now up and running for posts, thoughts and Photos. Lets hope the weather gods behave!
Edited by snowglobe, Apr 14 2013, 05:28 PM.
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SacoHarry
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The scene at the start of Session 2!

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Happy digging!
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NicC
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Oooh! ouch! ouch! oooh!, ow! ow! You guessed it - first day and no exercise since last day of my 2 weeks in July last year. Not much happened - cleaned up a little bit here and there deturfed some more. Same in all areas - clean up and go down an inch or 2 and deturf. Weather bright with a shower or two scudding through on a strong (very strong) westerly wind. No photies as I didn't think we had changed the landscape sufficiently. Maybe tomorrow (but tomorrow never comes!!)
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snowglobe
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Grand sunny day to visit the site, deturfing continues a pace, working on a slow Internet connection tonight but will post more images later till then

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I do love a good flagged floor
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Edited by snowglobe, Apr 15 2013, 03:00 PM.
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Fiona D
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Just a shot to add to Pete's - the line of a robber trench showing up clearly on left of trench across rampart - lovely digging weather.

Attached to this post:
Attachments: Robber_trench_in_rampart.jpg (409.14 KB)
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SacoHarry
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Great pics Pete & Fiona! The robber trench is quite a sight.

Keep 'em coming! And if anyone has pictures of finds, please consider posting those as well. Pottery, nails, glass, iron/lead objects, beads, dice, gaming counters are generally all OK unless they're particularly rare or special. If you have a photo of something higher quality or that you're not sure of, drop me a line at text_style@hotmail.com. I'll confer with the experts, and if we can post it we will.
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NicC
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All the wind in the world was concentrated on Vindolanda. Westerly with gusts up to 66 mph (100+kph) but bright sunshine after the first 5 minutes. It even felt slightly warm by the ed of the day.

Todays activities included finishing off the deturfing we started last night and then started cleaning off. At least that is what was happenning at the west end of the trench. Numerous finds including an altar with inscription so the champers is out, amph with grafitti, whetstone, arrow-head, dog footprint (on a tile).

As others have posted pix I shall refrain. But can I ask that peeps reduce the size so that I do not have to scroll left and right - and I do not have the slimmest screen around.

Other important news: the chaffinch has not appeared yet and the ice cream kiosk is not yet active :(
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sarcanon
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OMFG! That altar is amazing. Does anyone have a clearer picture of the text? Pretty please!
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Badger
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I was on site a few years ago when two of these household altars were found in one day. They, and I am suspecting this one also, were reused as building stones. WeDig generally defers questions on things like inscriptions to the Vindolanda Trust. When they want to talk about it we will too! Many of these little guys appear to have been made by, ahem, journeymen carvers and have a great deal of variation in spelling and grammar. Some are entirely illegible due to this and to wear.
But my goodness, this is a nice clean one!
There are some fascinating local deities who are pretty much only known by their being remembered in this rather rough hewn fashion.

Congrats to the smiling digger....I have stared long and hard at more than one wall stone trying to make it into one of these!

Badger
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sarcanon
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Badger:

Well, given that Justin tweeted a photo of it without any attempt to obscure it or the fact of its discovery, I would assume that the usual rule of checking before publication would not obtain in this case. Had Justin not been the source, though, I would wholeheartedly agree that caution should be taken. In any event, given my particular research interest in inscriptions, I'll beg your pardon for my zeal.

- Scott
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SacoHarry
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Amazing find!

Here is a link to the photo in its original size. Not a whole lot larger, but perhaps someone in the know can do some deciphering:

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BH_CCalCYAAV9se.jpg:orig
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SacoHarry
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Alright. I'm going to dive in a bit. The last line and a half are interesting. It seems to read "VOT R ET L M." This seems to be a new take on a common abbreviation: "VSLM." That was the stock abbreviation for "votum solvit libens merito" -- "willingly and deservedly fulfilled his vow." This would be "VRLM," which -has- shown up before (according to Google) as "votum retulit libens merito." What's cool is adding the "ET" in between R and L. That looks like a more colloquial way of saying it. Anyone else have thoughts?
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Badger
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Well....ok

In the line above it looks like ...VEATNLLES.. or something like that. Could this be a variant on the local deity mentioned on other Vindolanda altars?

RomanoBritian lists the following variants from Vindolanda:

VETERIBUS
VETERI....TIN...S
VETERIBUS
VETERI

Given the difficulty reading the darned thing I am uncomfortable saying anything more....But I am pretty sure there is a VET in there....

Badger
hope the speculation is appropriate. As Sarcannon says, the image is posted on the official Vindolanda blog.

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SacoHarry
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For those interested, Wikimedia Commons has a -great- collection of Roman altars/dedications that use the "VSLM" ending. Neat to see all the variants & abbreviations. And how they were used.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:VSLM_inscriptions
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sarcanon
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Harry:

My guess will be to expand RET as RETULIT (third person singular perfect active indicative of refero) rather than R ET. So, VOT(UM) RET(ULIT) L(IBENS) M(ERITO) ("freely and deservedly repaid his vow"). While not nearly as common as VSLM, VRLM is not unheard of. Use of "ET" within the votive formula is not something I've run across before.

Of course, without a clear transcription, it's heard to be sure of anything. There may very well be ligatures in there hiding additional letters.

- Scott

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