Friday, May 6, 2011

Vindolanda digging report day five. Mystery solved a different way.

This has been a week in pursuit of archeological features.  Nifty finds have been of secondary importance but Nigel and I have still turned up an assortment of broken pottery, some shards of roof and drain tile and another coin.  Myself, it has been pursuit of the missing wall, presumably part of the centurion's quarters.

As it turns out, it actually was there all along, just a little deeper.  Here is a picture of the final clean up, with the elusive wall extending from the earlier segment (dry and on the right) to the new discoveries.

It is frankly not that great a wall, poorly constructed around AD 214, but in some small measure my painstaking work here will advance archeological knowlege of this era.  Of course in a few weeks some other digger will be assigned to demolish it to get at what lies below.

Elsewhere on the site other "bits and bobs" have turned up.  Another brooch, the metal fittings for a spear handle, a couple of knife blades.

But overall the end of the week paired with more fine weather induces a sort of euphoria.  The diggers get a little silly.

One team discovered a huge, ill shaped boulder plopped down in their area of road/roadside ditch.  For some unfathomable reason this massive thing was quarried elsewhere, hauled with some effort into the fort---and dropped in a location guaranteed to be a persisting pain in the posterior.  This hideous rock has been dubbed "the monster", and the picture below shows a digger vamping a bit like a Siren luring sailors to their doom....

But for real nonsense I did not have to look farther than the other side of my roman roadway.  "Pete" unearthed a bit of rock that he first decided was a depiction of the continent of Africa (never you mind that the romans had no idea what the southern two thirds of Africa looked like).

But after a minute of reflection he concluded that in fact this was a different sort of artifact. 

Hey, admit it, you and I have both seen less attactive fashions paraded down the runways of Paris and Milan!

A two day break from archeology, various other nonsense will turn up in the interval.

Cheers from the Twice Brewed Inn.

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