Friday, May 3, 2013

Vindolanda 2013 - Day Five

Threatened rains held off so we dug on a grey misty day.  The local environmental conditions were marred only by a garrulous chap who attempts to communicate in a gargling local dialect called "Geordie".  He insisted on singing show tunes.....


We are near the surface with various scattered artifacts turning up.  Metal brackets, a broken brooch, a couple of late low value coins.  They are not much to look at...

But when they can be read they are helpful for dates.

Most of the trenches active this week are in a single huge building of uncertain purpose.  It is a jumble of stones many reused from other places.  So you can't be sure if this quern (grindstone) was used to mill grains or just as another bit of sad, patched up stone work.

So a day of work and the occasional tea break.

Here a happy excavator holds high the marker staff that records the position of a small find (in this case some sort of iron ring)

And here a couple of diggers relaxing.  They are sitting on a couple of enormous chunks of timber that have been excavated and conserved.  Nobody knows just what the huge building they supported was really for.  Some speculate that it was a ceremonial hall for Legionary troops helping build the nearby Hadrian's wall.  Others think it might have actually been built for a visit by the Emperor himself.

When I walked by my trench mates relaxing on 1800 year old wooden beams I could not resist thinking..."Great Britain's oldest bus stop".

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