Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Vindolanda 2015 Day Eight

A brilliant day of weather today.  Good company and good archeology.  We are working down in the anaerobic layers this week, a complex network of posts, fences, walls and drains.  All interspersed with mud, and better yet with what is called "laminate".  This is a dense mat of various stuff.  Twigs, bark, heather and bracken and moss that they used to cover their floors, horse manure - who knows, maybe human also - and naturally anything that got dropped into it.

From bottom to top of our site there is probably three centuries worth of archeology.

When one set of buildings got wobbly, or when the fort had one of its intermittent abandonments, well, the poor Roman soldiers got the order to bash down the existing wooden buildings.  Later new ones were put up after a new layer of clay was laid down.  Today we found evidence of the demolition process.  Specifically we found this:

This is exactly what it looks like.  A broken off half of a crow bar.  Imaging the frustration of some poor hard working lad who was assigned to knock down an old building....his crow bar breaks and he just tosses the broken half down next to the fallen timber we found it adjacent to!

The deep layers are murky and complex:

Remarkably that is wood put into place circa 100 to 150 AD. Since then Empires have risen and fallen, Man has visited the moon, we have technology that lets me sit in a 300 year old pub and send pictures around the Earth.  And the humble sticks and planks are still right where Roman soldiers plopped them 1800 years ago.

A few other pictures from our trench:

A sheep jaw sitting on a perfectly preserved oak plank.

A sprig of heather from floor covering.

Carving on a stone.  Was it just an illiterate fellow scratching X's and I's ?

More fun tomorrow, with the weather looking fabulous.


SIL from Hastings said...

999 amphorae of wine on the wall ...999 amphorae of wine ...

Harry said...

That wood plank with the jawbone looks to have lettering carved on the top of it! What an amazing level you're in. Love it.

Tacitus2 said...

We had a rather special amphorae the other day. I will hold off on that pic for the moment....