Friday, May 22, 2015

Vindolanda 2015 Day Ten - Things that Survive

Another two weeks of digging have flown past.  Good weather, good friends, good finds.

I made my last hike from the Twice Brewed Inn to the site today.  I hope to be back next year but the Inn has been sold and I fear the needed improvements will make it a bit too upscale for my vagrant tastes.  Sadness on this point but good memories over the years and a final Pub Quiz Victory to cap it off.  Our magnificent First Prize was a small green anthropomorphic pear.  I think it was a cider company giveaway.

Archeology is more about how things change than about how they survive.  We are so often just seeing the faint ghosts of things.  Here we have 1800 year old oyster shells:

A lot of things survive in forms that are recognizable if you know what you are looking for.  Here we have a Roman shoe.....from its size it is felt to be that of a toddler:

Other things come down to us in better shape.  Bronze items found down in the anaerobic layers sparkle like gold.  This is some sort of medical tool.  It could be as mundane as an ear wax remover!

Sometimes the process of change is surprisingly fast.  Here is the same sheep jaw I showed the other day.  When exposed to air for a day or two it acquired the odd pigment spot that you can see here.  This form of change is due to something called "Vivianite" and is a natural process.  Or perhaps the Romans actually invented "Blue Tooth" technology!

Things that survive and things that don't.  I have a lot of friends here, some old some new.  Of course I realize that humans are finite but I like to imagine that long after I stop coming over, they will all still be here at least in spirit.

But at least the stones survive.  Pretty much forever by human standards.  Here is the Roman mile stone I walked past this morning.  Still by the side of the Roman road, right where it was left almost two millennia ago.  I think it is there for good.

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