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 

Countdown to 2014 Excavation at Vindolanda

Vindolanda Trust - Friday, February 07, 2014
As I type this blog piece I am acutely aware that there are only 7 weeks until the beginning of the 2014 excavation season at Vindolanda and the countdown is well and truly underway.

This week saw the Vindolanda Trust welcome new members of staff to the customer services team and there was intensive training of all staff ahead of the opening of Vindolanda and the Roman Army Museum 7 days a week from this Saturday (8th February). Full opening times for 2014 are available at www.vindolanda.com (the link is in the left-hand column of the blog) and we are all looking forward to welcoming visitors to both sites on a daily basis in 2014!

Site preparation for the excavation is well underway and we take out our spades, trowels and other kit out on site on Monday 7th April at Vindolanda. Excavation will be ongoing, Monday to Friday, until 4.30 pm each day, weather permitting. We will be on-site until mid-September, with the post-excavation work continuing until the end of September. News of the excavation will be provided here on the Blog by the archaeological team who will provide images,video and commentary as the weeks progress. 

The post-excavation team are also preparing to receive small finds and the ubiquitous bulk material, which is mostly pottery, but also includes Roman glass, ceramic building material and industrial waste in varying quantities. Both present their own challenges and we will share progress in both these areas as the excavation proceeds and show off some of the finds that we unearth here on the blog too.

We have a great team of volunteers lined up to take part in both excavation and the post-excavation work and we very much look forward to welcoming them to Vindolanda from the 7th April. In addition, to the regular volunteer teams, Vindolanda will also welcome the Archaeological Field School of the University of Western Ontario from the end of May to the end of June. Their professors, Dr. A Meyer and Dr. E. Greene, will work in the North Field part of the site, under the direction of Dr. Andrew Birley, with the field school students and some of our own volunteers. This will be the third season of the field school and we will report on their progress here. The field school also has their own blog and the link is in the left hand column of this blog. 

And, just to remind us all how sunny and warm it can be at Vindolanda, here is a shot of the team at the end of a week's work in 2012, the wettest summer for some time! Fingers crossed for lots of days like this in 2014...

Posted by Kate Sheehan-Finn at 1:49 pm