COVID-19 Update for 2020 Excavation Volunteers (1st June 2020)
Dear Vindolanda excavation volunteer and dear friends,
I want to personally thank you for your patience with waiting to hear whether or not we can continue with the 2020 excavation season. We have waited this long to try and give you the best chance to come along to Vindolanda and enjoy the wonderful experience of excavating at the site this year. You are an important part of what we do and the site is not the same without you being here.
From the 1st of June, some restrictions have been lifted therefore we have taken the opportunity to re-examine our risk assessment for the excavations.
I am sorry to report that following this assessment we are now having to cancel the remaining periods for the 2020 volunteer excavation season.
There remain too many variables and uncertainties about infection rates, and because of this, we concluded in our assessment too many difficulties in making sure that your welfare (which is paramount) is taken care of. Although we are trialling the opening of the site and grounds only at Vindolanda in June, all of our buildings and facilites remain closed to both volunteers and visitors and i expect they remain so until the 4th of July at the earliest. This includes the excavation centre, the museum, the Hedley Centre and spaces that are required for volunteers welfare such as rest rooms and washing facilities. Surrounding facilities such as hotels, hostels, pubs, cafes all remain closed and their reopening time is uncertain.
This is not the Vindolanda experience that either myself or my team would wish for you and we are extremely frustrated not to be able to offer it to you. We realise that this will be hugely disappointing for you if you have booked a place on the excavations and we are devastated to have to take this action.
If you have booked in for the second part of the season we would like to offer to transfer your booking to the same time period* in 2021 and we will honour the booking for you. The equivalent periods are listed below:
Period 8 - 5th – 16th July 2021
Period 9 – 19th -30th July 2021
Period 10 – 16th -27th August 2021
Period 11 - 30th August to the 10th September 2021
However, if this is not convenient we will refund your 2020 excavation placement.
*Unfortunately at this time we are unable to offer a transfer to different period than the equivalent one you have booked into 2021.
Can you please let us know by email to [email protected] if you would like your place to be deferred to 2021 or refunded.
We are currently operating with a very small team, and your email request will be dealt with as soon as possible.
Irrespective of whether you choose to defer your place to 2021 or cancel your 2020 excavation place we would like to offer you the opportunity to purchase a 2020 t-shirt.
The t-shirt colour this year is black with gold lettering. The price of a t-shirt is £14.99 + postage.
Please follow the link below if you wish to take up this offer. In the additional delivery info you can confirm your t-shirt size(s).
We request that purchases are limited to maximum of two t-shirts per person.
We thank you for your ongoing support to our charitable aims and objectives. During the pandemic we have been working hard to increase our digital impact as part of the Global Vindolanda project. We would like to hear/see how Vindolanda has inspired you. If your interested please join our international community and contribute to the project. https://www.vindolanda.com/blogs/vindolandainspired
Once more, we hope that you and your families remain safe and well during this incredibly difficult time.
With our best wishes,
Dr Andrew Birley, FSA , FSA Scot
CEO & Director of Excavations
The Vindolanda Trust
Volunteering on the excavations Vindolanda
The Vindolanda Trust has been accepting volunteers on to its excavations since its foundation in 1970. From then to now, over 8000 people have benefitted from this challenging experience. There are two ways you can volunteer on the Vindolanda excavations: you can either join our excavation team, getting down and dirty in the trenches, or our post-excavation team, handling and sorting through the many materials recovered each day.
The Vindolanda Trust recognises the substantial contribution of its volunteers to our understanding of the site, and therefore Roman Britain as a whole. We are committed to the view that volunteers should continue to have the opportunity to share in the experience of working on one of the most exciting archaeological sites in Western Europe, and part of the Frontiers of the Roman Empire World Heritage Site.
Joining the excavations is both an immensely rewarding and physically demanding activity. It is essential to have a good level of personal fitness and this will be tested over a two week period.
More information about next years excavation, when you can book a place, how much it will cost and what the sessions are will appear on this page.
Each year the excavation are supported by a dedicated post-excavation volunteer team who process the material from the dig. There are up to four places available for each of the six two-week periods listed throughout the year.
If you are interested in excavating you need to know what is involved with the process so you can make the decision if excavating and archaeology at Vindolanda is the right thing for you.