Friday, May 9, 2014

Vindolanda 2014 Day Five

The weather forecast looked dire today so we were pleased to get in the better part of a
day of excavating.  It had rained all night so we could not start straight off.  So one contingent washed pottery.  Another group did some bailing on an area of the dig site that will be active next week.  It needed it.

This is an area where multiple layers of successive forts are one atop another.  A very complex place where buildings, roads and what not are slowly sinking down into previous fort trenches.  It reminds one just a bit of Swamp Castle from Monty Python.  The efforts the Romans made to counter this process were impressive, and we shall be wrestling with some substantial rock and rubble layers next week.  But it is deep enough for that precious anaerobic preservation that keeps organic material intact.

Wooden posts and drains.

After lunch it was back to the other end of the fort to sift through the late Roman and sub-Roman layers.  Not much for finds, a few enigmatic bits of worked iron.  The grandeur of the Empire had waned by then but the later and lesser folks did what they could.   Their efforts are sometimes hard to understand.  Have a look.

Grindstones reused as floor repairs.

Here we have huge whoppin' slabs of stone dragged in to make post Roman floor surfaces. Why on earth would they haul in these half ton lunks for such a mundane task?  In front there is a late ditch straight through a Roman road.  Did they think about the longer walk that this created?  Questions that so far lack answers.

Should be a good week ahead, weekend diversions await.

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