Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Vindolanda 2015 Day Seven - Hail Caesar

The weather man got things more or less right today.  After a reasonably pleasant morning we got hit by a mix of precipitaton.  Rain....and solid white stuff.  I don't know just how you differentiate between hail and snow.  As we took an early tea break and implausibly hoped it would all just blow over I decided to make a couple of small snow men.  The maniacal face in the middle is my pal Pete the Builder.

The name Vindolanda actually derives from an earlier Celtic name.  It recalls a presumptive pre-Roman settlement and translates loosely to "White Fields".  Well, we had 'em today.  Another odd name:  the section of hill across the road from us is one of the highest points along the line of Hadrian's Wall.  It is called Winshields Crag.  The name has nothing to do with wind shields really, but this is a view in the parking lot of the Twice Brewed Inn.

Yucky stuff, we all were cold and bedraggled when excavating was halted for the day around 2:30.  But during the time we got in there were a few things of note that turned up.

This is a pot lid.  Normally these are the lowliest of artifacts, just a bit of flat stone or worn out pot that was hand chipped into a cover for a vase or pot.  But today I found one that was so nice I initially mistook it for some sort of jewelry:

It was made out of the base of a goblet or drinking cup.  I rather liked it.

But the main reason for digging in the organic layers is to find the things that otherwise would not be preserved.  Late in the digging day Pete - yes, that Pete - was busy trying to expose a huge bit of Roman timber.  It is an unusual shape, sort of a taper.  And it has some notches cut into it.  We don't understand it yet, none of the other wooden bits coming up look anything like it.  It might be intact enough to give us a date from analysis of growth rings.  Better weather tomorrow.  It would almost have to be!

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