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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 6; 10 - 21 June
Topic Started: Jun 10 2013, 06:27 AM (1,406 Views)
SacoHarry
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Placeholder for what's happening during the next two weeks. Thanks to all for pics & updates so far. Let's see what's happening as spring turns toward summer!

- Harry
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SacoHarry
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Terry & Pauline are back onsite for the first week of this session, with more photos & stories. From Monday:

"We're at Vindolanda all week for finds processing. Kate is training diggers to sort and begin processing finds. Today Helen, Terry and I sorted out some trays of washed finds into various bone, glass, nail, amphora, mortaria, coarse ware, fine ware and black burnished ware categories then counted and weighed them before bagging them up for further work to be done on them. Kate is putting the details of this work onto a spreadsheet which shows what's coming out on site in all areas and will be available for research purposes. We had a few doubts as to which ones were black burnished and which were coarse ware as some pieces look very like each other in indeterminate shades of grey and sort-of-black but we're getting there! The idea is that we'll also help with the pot washing groups.... The council have decided to mend the Stanegate so roadworks are now due. The road's in a very bad state with all the flash flooding and rain that we've been having over the past couple of years so this will come as a big relief all round."

And a sample of the photos:

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Prepping to backfill the last of 2012's vicus trenches.

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This year's excavation, standing on the far west side looking east

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Kate directing; and a good view of how shallow/deep some of the layers are
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SacoHarry
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The above is just a small sampling of Terry & Pauline's photos. The full set can be found at http://opa.cig2.canon-europe.com/s/m/CVP2Q3LpZWu. It includes more shots of the restored aquaduct, as well as photos of the North Field team tracing & uncovering ditches. Lots of neat stuff.
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Fiona D
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Great photos thanks Terry & Pauline - good that the great robber trench seems to have finished, and to see progress in the field.
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SacoHarry
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Another nice set of shots from Terry & Pauline for Tuesday (my apologies for lateness in getting them posted!). Pauline writes: "Diggers had a cooler day generally with some rain though it wasn't bad enough to stop digging. We made inroads on the malted milk biscuits over a rainy lunchbreak. In the fine old traditions of the British weather in June it looks as if the rest of the week will be cooler and rainy. A Belgian film crew arrived during the morning and interviewed Andy. They talked to Sarah from the Canadian Field School and Lynda as well."

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The western end of the fort trench, looking south, showing expansion westward chasing the huge 4th C east-west wall/bldg

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The eastern end of the fort trench, also looking south, chasing the 3rd C intervallum road, plus the 4th & 5th (and 6th?) C remains on top

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Barad Dur rising

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A nice shot from the southeast corner looking westward across the more recently-exposed area -- including the gaping robber trench in the distance

As always, more & higher-res photos here! Thanks much!
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charlie
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Thanks for the updates guys! Im dyin here!
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SacoHarry
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Another great batch from Terry & Pauline last night. Terry writes: "Todays pix reflect the end of a busy and productive week. Despite dire weather forecasts, no time was lost to the infrequent rain. Excavators from all the sites were rotated in pairs to pot/bone/artefact washing for half a day. Myself, Pauline and Helen spent this week sorting, weighing, counting, recording and bagging washed artefacts. I'll be back digging next week. The area around the aqueduct is being grass seeded. As the excavations move south in the fort, the spoil heap will be removed shortly."

First, a couple shots of the extensive ditch systems being traced in the North Field:
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Back to the main fort:
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Terry talking shop in shorts

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The western edge of the trench, from the south looking north, being excavated west to trace the long 4th C wall etc.

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Eastern edge, also from south looking north, showing excavation on top of the old rampart

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From southeastern edge looking west over a very complicated scene

Link to more & bigger photos here
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JaneC
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This is my first attempt at posting, so if it all goes wrong, I will go round and start again. T&P are giving a fantastic overview of the site. I am in the fort, about as far from the pot washer's hut as it is possible to be, but will try to give the view from the distant corner.

Period 6 started dry and with beautiful sunshine. Not quite believing it could last, diggers staying at the Hedley Centre took the opportunity to make the most of optimal conditions on Sunday evening to visit the wall and face down the barbarians.

After that a couple of dullish and cooler days but only one real daytime downpour so far - that was considerate enough to last for the duration of just one lunch hour.

The main effort in the fort has been to extend the boundaries of the excavated area, and further investigation of a couple of sites of interest lying inside. The areas under scrutiny are complicated, either choked with masonry or requiring painstaking exposure because of (very) small finds. Overall, most of the week has been characterised by these finds, including useful dating evidence, rather than by startling advances in revealing the buildings' infrastructure.

To the south, excavation is rapidly approaching the spoil heap, but has turned up a mass of tumbled stones, including some very impressive flagstones. Among them was a voussoir stone recycled from the roof of the bathhouse, apparently not a particularly unusual find at Vindolanda. By Friday, a definite wall was beginning to emerge.

To the east, excavation has reached out to the ramparts of the fort wall and is now
beginning to clear the internal face of the masonry.

Small finds suggest a building's floor area - just below the rampart - supported domestic activity and progress has been careful. The yellowish clay being revealed at bottom right appears to be the start of the rampart slope; the dark stain in front has had a number of interpretations but should be investigated further this week.

To the west, they are still chasing the elusive end of a very large building.
Unbelievably the forecast appears to be good; we have to hope the weather gods continue to be on-side.
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snowglobe
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I hope add some photos to add to the great ones already posted this week. Untill then here's a link to a 360 view from Barcombe hillBarcombe hill
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Dbat2
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Thanks so much to all of you who are keeping us up to date - my Session4 memories are fading somewhat but it's lovely to see those huge stones appear and the intervallum road progressing nicely.
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SacoHarry
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Another fantastic video blog posted today by Justin. Gives a nice overview (from the spoilheap) of all the first half of the season. http://vindolanda.blogspot.com/2013/06/week-12-video-blog.html

It looks, from Justin's description, like the late walls that I marked in blue on this latest unofficial/orientation plan are indeed from a very late building, put up after the 3rd and 4th C buildings had been demolished. Post-Roman life just all over the old fort, it seems.

Such a great story, and such a great place.
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snowglobe
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As always a great visit to see the site and such cracking weather, lots of great photos and reports this session from Pauline and Jane here's a few more from me.

Two photos of the intervallum road from the east gate

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Looking south west across the excavation

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Work on the east rampart

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Happy in the sun
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A wide shot showing the whole excavation within the fort & the robber trench
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Pauline helping with pottery identification
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Work continuing in the north field
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Edited by snowglobe, Jun 21 2013, 01:02 PM.
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snowglobe
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Finally Vindolanda and surrounding area in its summer glory
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A view of the fort from Barcombe hill yesterday
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snowglobe
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A half way through sequence of photos

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Edited by snowglobe, Jun 22 2013, 08:42 AM.
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snowglobe
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A last batch of photos from Friday taken by Pauline. Thanks to all diggers who post keep them coming.

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The North Field
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Edited by snowglobe, Jun 27 2013, 03:51 AM.
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