The excavations are back for 2021. The archaeologists and small teams of volunteers will be out Mon - Fri weather permitting. See history as it is uncovered.

This years excavations will be held in the South West quadrant of the 3rd Century fort. You will be able to watch as the archaeologists reveal the many layers of Vindolanda and learn about the people who lived here, through the objects and buildings they have left behind.

You may ask questions (in fact its encouraged) but please remember to socially distance.

Below is an update on what has been happening on the excavations this year from Dr Andrew Birley:

As the final month on the excavations in 2021 approaches we can take stock on what a fantastic year it has been for the research of the site. Welcoming back teams of volunteers and post-excavators and having the opportunity to be able to engage with our visitors to the site has been an uplifting experience for everyone involved.

In 2021 we have been largely exploring the interface period between the end of Roman Britain and what happened next (late 4th century to 5th century) as the teams have steadily moved from north to south across the entire southwestern quadrant of the last stone fort. This area was dominated by a late Roman cavalry barrack which had eventually collapsed into a sea of rubble, burying its floors and rooms below hundreds of tons of shattered stone. After the Roman army abandonment, the remaining communities of 5th and 6th century Vindolanda reclaimed this area and dug new foundations through the rubble and floors of the buildings. They placed new foundations, some in stone, some in timber, and transformed this area from a derelict barrack into street of detached homes. The remains of two church foundations framed this new space (the north and west), with roads and paths between them.

The excavators have spent much of the summer carefully detailing each collapsed structure and mound of stone so that every feature could be mapped in its location before a decision on what could stay and what needs to be removed can be taken. Our drone has been a huge help with this process, providing the images that you see here and helping us not only map but also detect the faint traces of post-Roman structures hidden amongst the rubble.

Discoveries have included some wonderful Christian artefacts, painted crosses, copper alloy vessels and late Roman horizon of pottery and artefacts which takes us right to the end of the military occupation in Britain and perhaps slightly beyond. Each week a new and exciting discovery is made and with a month to go this year’s adventure is not quite over just yet and we can expect more excitement to come in the next few weeks.