Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Vindolanda digging report day three. Dude, where's my wall?

Ridiculous, intoxicatingly nice weather today.  My apologies in particular to those of you back home in Wisconsin where anything that is growing is probably some form of cold tolerant fungus, but here in Northumbria it is green and glorious.  In fact, the only way that digging conditions could have been improved upon today would have been the unexpected arrival of winged dryads in diaphenous togas offering us cool pints of ale on silver trays. 

That in part makes up for a day of very limited discoveries.  Elsewhere on the site a few beads turned up, and quite a cargo of broken storage jars that may have been used for fill.  But other than that...not much. 

My digging partner and I were assigned to follow a wall.  The only problem was, it was gone.   Here is what we were supposed to follow:

The sunglasses, trowel and kneeling pad are at the end of the previously excavated wall segment, which is supposed to be roughly three tiers of stone thick.  Beyond the marked point it is simply----gone.

The problem of course was stone robbers.  Back in the 1700s and 1800s farmers who needed some nifty building stone would just drive their carts up to the old roman fort site and start digging out whatever sized stones they needed.  Heck, it was free and much easier than cutting your own building stones.

To make matters worse I think they left the trench open long enough to fill in with clean silt, so my only finds of the day were a few pottery shards.  Oh, and some nails.  When you get mildly excited by this kind of find it has been an unproductive day.  But as I mentioned, still a very pleasant one.

1 comment:

next door Laura said...

Well, I was feeling kind of envious until today. I think I may have done better with garden excavating than you did at Vindolanda. I also found nails - from the garage roof job a few years back, a rusty bottle cap, the first trillium, and the arm of an ancient Power Ranger or Ninja Turtle. Add the pocket change that came out in the wash and a beautiful WI day for hanging out said wash and my day may have equaled yours. Sunny enough here to create rosy cheeks after battling creeping Charlie, dividing ligularia, and routing out an old arbor vitae. Or perhaps it was the glass of wine I enjoyed while folding the clean sheets right off the line and thinking of you all at the pub. Cheers.