Wooden treasures unearthed at Vindolanda

Vindolanda Trust - Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Spectacular start to the excavation season at Roman Vindolanda

barrel staveVindolanda is a rare archaeological site, one that even after 45 years of continuous excavation seasons still keeps releasing more treasures from the past.  The treasures are not those that we think of in a traditional sense but rather a hoard of very normal finds. What makes these ordinary items extraordinary is the fact they are approaching 2,000 years old, and yet many of them look as if they were discarded or lost just recently. 

 Dr Andrew Birley, CEO and Director of Excavations for the Trust explained ‘We know this site very well and at the start of each season there are buildings and artefacts that we hope to uncover. There are of course illusive finds that you want to make and are still searching for and then there are discoveries that make the hair on the back of your neck stand up!’

On the 16th June one of those spine tingling discoveries was made in the deep anaerobic trenches where the oxygen-free conditions enables almost perfect preservation of the ancient remains. A barrel stave, dating c AD90, complete with the most vivid brand and numbers was unearthed. The stave, made from pine and almost certainly imported from Spain bears the as yet unidentified makers brand. The numerals MCC indicate the barrel contained a quantity of 1200 but what the contents were remains a mystery.

 Dr Briley went on to say ‘the barrel stave has been one of the highlights of the season so far and we hope over the coming weeks we will know more about ALBIN - NORB  as images of the stave have been sent to specialists in both Spain and here in the UK for further interpretation. However, we can guess that ALBIN could mean ALBINVS, the name of the manufacturer of the barrel, and NORB is the place of origin’.

 The Vindolanda Trust is currently working up plans for a £1.3m extension to the museum, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, especially to house the wooden artefacts, a collection which is steadily expanding.

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For further information or hi-res photographs please contact:

Sonya Galloway,

The Vindolanda Trust, 01434 344277

sonyagalloway@vindolanda.com

www.vindolanda.com

Follow us on twitter: @VindolandaTrust

Follow us on Facebook @thevindolandatrust

 

The Vindolanda Trust

The Vindolanda Trust is an independent archaeological charitable trust, founded in 1970. The Vindolanda Trust does not receive any annual funding and relies on the visitors to both Roman Vindolanda and the Roman Army Museum to fund its archaeological, conservation and education work.

 

Roman Vindolanda and the Roman Army Museum are both situated in the heart of the Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage Site, Roman Vindolanda is just to the north of the village of Bardon Mill and the Roman Army Museum is next to the village of Greenhead.

 

Roman Vindolanda is regarded as the most exciting archaeological site in Europe with its wealth of archaeological remains and ongoing excavations. Vindolanda is home to the world famous Vindolanda Writing Tablets, voted as Britain’s top archaeological treasure by the British Museum, these thin hand written wooden notes have revealed an astonishing amount of first-hand information from the people who lived at this site 2000 years ago. The Vindolanda Trust has recently been awarded Designation, a mark of distinction celebrating the national importance of the collection.

The Vindolanda Trust collection gains national quality accolade

Vindolanda Trust - Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The Vindolanda Charitable Trust near Bardon Mill, Hexham, has been officially awarded Designated status by the Arts Council England for its rare, unique and extraordinary collection of Roman artefacts from the Vindolanda archaeological site.

                          

Roman Vindolanda, situated in the central sector of the Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage Site is regarded as one of the most eminent archaeological sites in Britain. The site which pre-dates the construction of Hadrian’s Wall, was home to at least 9 forts and 400 years of Roman occupation.  The ongoing annual excavations of this site have produced one of the greatest and diverse collections of material culture from anywhere within the Roman Empire, giving an insight into the everyday lives and activities of this frontier community. Highlights of the personal hoard of Roman artefacts are displayed within the modern on-site Chesterholm Museum at Vindolanda and at the Trust’s Roman Army Museum at Greenhead. An abundance of artefacts are on display from the everyday items such as well-preserved shoes and tools to extraordinary and exquisite belongings left behind nearly 2000 years ago.

     

 

Arts Council England’s Designation Scheme identifies the pre-eminent collections of national importance held in England’s non-national museums, libraries and archives, based on their quality and significance.  The Vindolanda Trust’s award proves that it delivers the highest standards, and that the Trust is committed to the continued recognition and promotion of this remarkable collection, for the enjoyment of generations to come.

Barbara Birley, Curator of Collections at the Vindolanda Trust commented: “We are extremely pleased to be awarded Designation status for our collection. It is a significant accolade, reflecting not only on the collection’s quality but also the impact that it has made, and is continuing to make, on modern archaeological research into the everyday life of the Roman people of Vindolanda.  This award supports a whole range of committed people who work, volunteer and research the site to help us understand and create fuller picture of our Roman past.”

Darren Henley, Chief Executive of Arts Council England, said: “We are delighted to be awarding this prestigious accolade to the Vindolanda Trust. The Vindolanda collection offers a fascinating and important insight into the history of the nation, and should be celebrated and shared with new audiences.”

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Download the press release - Press Release - Designation 

 

For further information or hi-res photographs please contact:

 Sonya Galloway,

 The Vindolanda Trust, 01434 344277

 sonyagalloway@vindolanda.com

 www.vindolanda.com

 Follow us on twitter: @VindolandaTrust

 Follow us on Facebook @thevindolandatrust

 

The Vindolanda Trust

The Vindolanda Trust is an independent archaeological charitable trust, founded in 1970. The Vindolanda Trust does not receive any annual funding and relies on the visitors to both Roman Vindolanda and the Roman Army Museum to fund its archaeological, conservation and education work.

 Roman Vindolanda and the Roman Army Museum are both situated in the heart of the Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage Site, Roman Vindolanda is just to the north of the village of Bardon Mill and the Roman Army Museum is next to the village of Greenhead.

 Roman Vindolanda is regarded as the most exciting archaeological site in Europe with its wealth of archaeological remains and ongoing excavations. Vindolanda is home to the world famous Vindolanda Writing Tablets, voted as Britain’s top archaeological treasure by the British Museum, these thin hand written wooden notes have revealed an astonishing amount of first-hand information from the people who lived at this site 2000 years ago.

 Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature and crafts to collections.  Great art and culture inspire us, bring us together and teach us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, they make life better.  Between 2015 and 2018, we plan to invest £1.1 billion of public money from government and an estimated £700 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.

 www.artscouncil.org

             


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