Little soldiers: gaming at Vindolanda

Vindolanda Trust - Friday, June 08, 2018
One of the most popular or frequent artefacts found on the excavations at Vindolanda, and many other military sites across the Roman Empire are small round gaming counters. Gaming and gambling seem to have been endemic in the Roman Army, from the north of Britain to the camel fort at Abu Shar’ar in the Egyptian desert, counters and boards are found everywhere. They are often made from sherds of pottery, red Samian or black burnished wares. They can be made from beautiful black, white or green glass or highly polished discs of bone. This year the trenches at Vindolanda have produced some thirty or so counters which can be added to th Read more...

Anaerobic at last

Vindolanda Trust - Monday, May 28, 2018
Depth of excavation is an important part of what makes Vindolanda such a different and special site. The volunteers from period 3 and 4 have been able to see this with their own eyes, and it is thanks to them that the deepest excavation trench now stands at just over 2 meters depth from the turf level. Vindolanda was occupied by Roman soldiers and their communities for over 320 years. The average length of stay for a garrison in one of the nine forts built on Vindolanda’ s ‘white field’ was 10/15 years. Then the fort and village would have been demolished and abandoned, left for a new garrison to build again, on top  Read more...

Post Excavation update

Vindolanda Trust - Wednesday, May 09, 2018
Post Excavation is in full swing! The post excavation shed Post excavation at Vindolanda is now in full swing. Here in the Post Excavation shed the volunteers wash, dry and categorise the pottery, animal bone, iron, brick, tile and glass that has been excavated from the site. A few changes have been made to post excavation this year to coincide with our new SMC (Scheduled Monument Consent) five-year excavation plan. Firstly, we are now operating as two teams – a pottery team and an animal bone team. Secondly, we have set up a new recording system for the animal bone which will record more information ab Read more...

Period 1 and 2 excavations' update

Vindolanda Trust - Friday, April 27, 2018
One of the most common answers to the Monty Python-esque question: ‘what have the Romans ever done for us?’ is ROADS. While the Romans cannot lay the claim of being the first to build great roads, they certainly have a strong claim for the best managed and widest spanning infrastructure system. When Augustus took the title of curator viarum (superintendent to the roads) in 20 B.C., he had a column erected in the centre of the Forum to indicate the starting point of the entire road system of the Empire. Now, thousands of years later and 1,464 miles from Rome, the excavation volunteers from period 1 and 2 have had the chance to  Read more...

Vindolanda 2017 Animal bone assessment

Vindolanda Trust - Thursday, April 12, 2018
The past two weeks we have had the pleasure of working with Ian Smith, an animal bone specialist for Oxford Archaeology North. He was tasked with completing an initial assessment of the animal bone found from last year’s excavations. During the excavations season we have post excavation volunteers who wash, dry and sort the animal bone in to context order. Ian has then been looking more closely at each context to extract more information such as: · What different types of animals were here · Identifying the different types of bones (ribs, humerus, femur, etc.) ·  Read more...

-1 week to excavations: introducing Beth

Vindolanda Trust - Monday, March 26, 2018
Welcome to the new format of The Vindolanda Blog! We are now only one week away from the beginning of 2018 excavations' season and the re-vamped Vindolanda Blog is just one of the many exciting new features we have in store for both Visitors and Volunteers this year. The wheelbarrows are at the ready, the first turf has already been broken, and the archaeological team is excited to start a new 5-years-long Research Excavation program. As part of the project 'Understanding Communities and Identities' we have had the chance to employ, for the 2018 excavations' season, a new Archaeological Assistant, Beth Harvey. We extend a warm welcome Read more...

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