Hello everyone and welcome back to the Vindolanda Blog.
We are now exactly one month away from the beginning of 2016 excavation season and we cannot wait to start again. We have been opened to the public since the 6th of February, and those of you who had a chance to visit us already are aware of the numerous changes and improvements we have been busy with over the winter season. A new path has been put in place over the bridge in the Vindolanda Gardens, increasing our already wide accessibility as well as eliminating those fastidious puddles of mud.
The new path in the Vindolanda Gardens
A new finds case allows you to catch a glimpse of the highlights of last season, including our Facebook-star find, the carved hare and hound stone. Together with that, new panels reveal more information about the current SMC (consent to excavate) and the people behind Vindolanda. At the Roman Army Museum our graphics’ specialists have given their best to produce a new layout for our cafe: come and enjoy a fresh cuppa at Abacus tea room and relax while learning. New panels have also been installed in our Latin Classroom and in gallery 3: the former is the classic tale “the town mouse and country mouse”, exploring movements of population and different lifestyles in a fun and child-friendly way. The latter will challenge you to become an investigator of antiquity, and help us solve some of the most debated mysteries of Vindolanda such as the skeleton of the child buried below the barrack floor.
Collage of our new panels at RAM.
Because of the unprecedented amount of water falling from the sky this winter, archaeological work will start on the 28th of March within the SE quadrant of the last stone forts, picking up from where we left it in September: expect more news as we hunt down some more Severan round-houses and complete the huge task of brining the Via Decumana uniformly to the Antonine level. Work in the Vicus will commence slightly further on in the season: keep following our Facebook, twitter and Instagram for further and up to date info! The blog will be posted on the last week of each month, do not forget to check it out for more comprehensive archaeological updates.
What marvels will we find at the top of this slope in 2016?
This year, in view of the roaring success and almost immediate sold out of our excavation places in 2015, we have decided to release a higher number of them. We still have a few available places available, and a fortnight’s excavation is a great present for a loved one, or a fantastic experience to share with your archeo-best friend. If you would be interested in joining us, use the online booking system linked here: http://www.vindolanda.com/excavate/excavation-book-now .
Whether you are a digger, a post-excavation volunteer or a visitor, we will see you in a month’s time and cannot wait to share our new discoveries with you from the side of the trench!
Marta Alberti-Site Archaeologist