Race to £100K: Realising the potential of pottery.

At the Vindolanda Trust we are all secret sherd nerds with an insatiable appetite to learn more about the past, are you one of those too? If so, join us by supporting our appeal in piecing together secrets of the Roman ceramics

Our race is now over!

A generous supporter and Friend of Vindolanda offered to match £1 for £1 every single donation made to this Pottery Appeal up to the sum of £100,000, potentially giving us a staggering fund of £200,000 if our target was reached in full. The time limit for that race ended on 1st October 2023. During the "race" period we raised, with the addition of Gift Aid a fantastic £66,267. This total will now be doubled. The appeal will remain open for a few more weeks and we look forward to sharing our research with you during the next five years of this exciting project.  Thank you to all our fellow "sherd nerds" out there who have supported this appeal.

What can Roman pottery tell us?

Of all the finds that come from the Roman frontier, pottery is the most numerous and the large number of sherds recovered is often overwhelming however each individual sherd of pottery has the potential to make a connection with the last ancient person who held it. A pottery sherd can tell us about when the pot was made and used and about the journey it took to reach Magna or Vindolanda. Some pottery has the residue of what had been cooked inside it, providing invaluable information about social practices and ancient diets.

Here are some of things we can learn from the pottery collection:

  • Diet
  • Trade
  • The economy
  • Identity
  • Customs
  • Social practices
  • Consumption
  • Manufacture

How will the appeal funds be used?

In the next 5 years it is anticipated we will uncover up to 200,000 sherds of pottery from the excavations at Roman Magna and Roman Vindolanda. To fully realise the potential of pottery the Trust needs to raise resources to bring pottery studies back to the very top of the table, where they belong. The fundraising campaign will go towards:

  • A dedicated 5 year research project into studying the Vindolanda Trust pottery collection.
  • Cutting edge lipid analysis (analysing the fats residue to discover what has been cooked).
  • Storage, cataloging and publication of the research findings.
  • Make the pottery collection more accessible, both digital and physical.
  • Enhance the pottery exhibitions at both Roman Vindolanda & Roman Army Museum.
  • Public engagement.

Thanks to you.

As a thank you for your support will receive a complimentary ticket to a lecture (by Zoom) with an update about the project. These lectures will take place annually and everyone who makes a donation will be invited as our guest. It is anticipated that the first introductory lecture will take place in December 2023.