End of Week 1

Vindolanda Trust - Monday, April 14, 2014
After the 1st week of excavations, and a few missed days because of the rain, the teams have done extremely well both inside the fort and below the vicus. In the fort the excavations have rolled back another 5metres of turf and have started to uncover the remains of the late 4th century and post-Roman buildings, you can catch up with this work and our other activities on a daily basis through Justin Blakes twitter feed. Below the vicus buildings the team has worked hard to remove the 1970's gravel and into the foundation clay and packing below. Here they have discovered a mixture of Antonine foundations and heavy packing for the Severan buildings above. In places this packing is over 50cms thick and difficult to move. It will however have done a fantastic job of keeping out the oxygen from the layers of archaeology below, giving us great hope that as this excavation progresses there will be a great chance of anaerobic conditions.

As week 2 progresses expect more of the 4th and 5th centuries to come alive inside the fort and we may just find out by the end of the week how good the organic preservation is below our vicus buildings.

Excavation of the vicus building site XXX

Excavations below site XXXII, the deep clay and rubble packing

Potty about Roman Pottery?

Vindolanda Trust - Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Life behind the scenes in the pottery processing shed at Vindolanda isn't glamorous, but it is always a lot of fun! For me, archaeology is all about getting to know people in the past by studying the places they inhabited and the things that they owned. 

There is no artefact more common than pottery on a Roman site like Vindolanda. Pottery is the stuff that people used every day for preparing, cooking, serving, eating, drinking, storing things, and even playing with. The soldiers and civilians at Vindolanda had oodles of it and, luckily, they left an enormous amount of it around for us to find among the buildings, roads and ditches on the site!

Drag. 37 bowl, Stamped on the rim by Satono, Lezoux, Central Gaul, AD 160-200

This summer, a team of volunteers will be at Vindolanda helping out with the preliminary post-excavation work of washing, drying, sorting and recording a multitude of amphorae, mortaria, samian ware, grey wares, black-burnished ware. Dishes, bowls, platters, cups, beakers, lids, flagons and  jugs  are common enough finds and they all need to be sorted, counted and weighed.

A Dressel 20 amphora drying in the foreground during the 2013 excavation season - Olive oil anyone?

Throughout the 2014 season I will feature some of  the pottery finds from the site here on the Blog. But you can visit us to see much, much more at Vindolanda as we work out on site. We will be there, Mon-Fri, until 4.30 pm, in the trenches and at the post-excavation shed, from Monday 7th April, 2014. 

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Kate Sheehan-Finn
Archaeological Supervisor
Posted by Kate Sheehan-Finn at 9:37 pm