Monday, May 11, 2015

Vindolanda 2015 Day One

And so another excavating season begins.

There have been a few interesting changes since my last time on site.  A huge water tank was uncovered at the end of last season and fully explored over the last few weeks.  Its exact function of course is subject to interpretation, but basically it was a water supply for men and horses in the later stages of Vindolanda, when there may have been a detachment of the Roman mobile field army housed there on an intermittent basis.  Various religious purposes could also be considered, there seems to have been a structure purpose built around it.  Later of course it was just filled in with trash in the era when Things Fell Apart.

My pal Pete standing in front of the water tank.

Running away from the tank, or perhaps running to it, is this drain.

It leads to the area I was working today, which is basically a big berm of rubble.  Probably a
building collapsed here.  Other than rocks, not much in it thus far.  A few bits of pottery, a couple of small pieces of worked stone.  A burned (dog?) tooth.  We have hopes for tomorrow when we will take it down a bit.  Here is the side cut of the berm showing what appears to be a layer of flat stones.  Could be floor surface or roof tiles....

I always love to find the little odd bits on the site, the kind of things that usually go unnoticed.  Here is a bit of "mudstone" from last years excavations.  It is soft, flakey stuff and when you leave it out in the elements over a winter it turns into this peculiar, but rather attractive lump.

Kind of reminds me of an agate encrusted baked potatoe!

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