Life At Vindolanda
What was life really like at Roman Vindolanda?
A Roman Soldier
"Defeat" and "Occupy" - two words seared into the minds of Rome's fighting force. The invasion of Britain was a war of conquest, instilling fear and obedience from the British tribes and making them subject to Roman control. Soldiers stationed at Vindolanda were drawn from across Rome's vast empire and you can experience what their life was really like through the legacy of their dwellings, weaponry and entertainment. The Vindolanda Trust's discoveries reveal the names of the military units (cohorts) stationed at the fort, how the garrison was constructed and protected, the soldier's favourite pastimes from gambling to bathing and how they paid for it all. An occupying force it may have been, but it was also a force for change in native British tribes - new ideas were pursued such as citizenship, religion and communal bathing.
Vindolanda became a place that generations of soldiers and their families called home. Through the window of artefacts and writings (including the tablets, inscriptions and stamps) all found within the fort of Vindolanda, a view of military and domestic life unfolds before our eyes. From soldiers to civilians, the many archaeological findings displayed at the museum tell a remarkable story of what it must have been like to live work and play at the edge of the empire. These fascinating findings from thousands of years ago show these people were not so very different from ourselves - they lived in a multi faith society, enjoyed pretty pottery, beautiful clothes and good shoes, used cosmetics, wore jewellery and liked to show off their exotic goods and socialise. A visit to Vindolanda is a fascinating insight into the soul of Roman Britain and our own story as mankind endures the passage of time.