Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Vindolanda 2015 Day Two

To some extent the feature we are excavating this week is "in the way".  It needs to come out so that the ongoing excavations can link the street system of the fort with the headquarters building that is right next to our trench.  But there are reasons to consider it a potentially interesting spot.  Clearly it is late, even post Roman, but later inhabitants were very eclectic in their choice of building materials, and one could reasonably hope that bits and bobs of carved stone, inscriptions, statues etc could be incorporated into the later structure.  Headquarters buildings tend to have a lot of that sort of thing.

So here is the area with the turf nicely peeled off on day One.

Quite the jumble pile, with that enigmatic drain from a much earlier road heading right into it.

About half way in there was an organized layer, something that was probably a floor surface from late Roman, or more likely, Dark Age occupation.   I will jump ahead to the end of today and show the "floor" surface.  One assumes it was quite a bit less wonky back in the day.

There was not a lot found today, most likely because the post Roman culture did not have much in the way of durable artifacts.  What pottery you find may well be legacy pots and dishes kept from the old days, as new manufacture was rare to absent post Roman times.  Or perhaps things like this bit of mortaria (grinding bowl) were simply part of the neighborhood trash that just sat around forever.

The Dark Ages were a time when things were reduced to a minimal level.  You needed weapons, and needed them to be sharp.  So here is a whetstone.

Bling was also an essential, and a nice ornamental broach was found nearby in the previous session.

When something interesting turns up elsewhere on the site it is sometimes brought around for others to see.  This rather clever knife turned up today but I do not have the time period or context to pass along.

Various other interesting things are turning up elsewhere on the site, a nifty ring came up yesterday.  This LINK to the official Vindolanda facebook page has a good image of it.

Tomorrow the struture we uncovered will be photographed for future study.  Then it will most likely be cleared away to show what lies beneath.  And who knows what that will be!


jon spencer said...

Looks like a trout knife, Marbles still makes them.

Tacitus2 said...

One supposes that there is a finite number of ways to make a small knife. This one is felt to be for domestic purposes, sure could be for fish, and was carried mostly by cavaly troopers, hence the ring for a lanyard. Or so Those who Know Much advise me.