Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Vindolanda 2016 Day Eight


We were tasked with finding the front wall of a building that fronted onto our road surface of the last few days.  "It's right there, for sure!".  We tried extending our excavation north-south, east-west and downwards.  No wall.

I must admit, playing "Where's Walldo" has limited appeal.  But it must be done.  The spirit of Rome still lingers faintly about Vindolanda and today I was thinking about one of the lesser Deities/Virtues that was likely worshiped there:  Disciplina.

The god of training, duty and work.

Among the stones, grass roots and disturbed worms there were very few finds in our trench.  A small brooch, a non descript bit of lead.  So you start finding interesting things where you can.

As we "de-turfed" we came across these modern artifacts.  A plastic whistle and two 1970s coins.  I like to imagine a school group going through, the high spirited kids turning pocket emptying cartwheels while the harassed teacher blew her whistle until it flew out of her mouth entirely.

Every year I keep my eyes open for that peculiar natural phenomena known colloquially as a "mud stone willy".  This happens when a bit of soft stone gets shaped by time and water erosion until, well until geology imitates biology.  Not a bad specimen for the 2016 entry....

I have mentioned "pot lids" in passing.  These are just bits of flat stone that are chipped at until round enough to cover the top of a bowl or vase.  Not very exciting.  I have not shown one yet because they just look like stone hockey pucks.  This example was "close but no cigar", deemed to be natural and not artifact.  Geology trying to imitate artifact...

I prefer to show finds that came up in my trench but alas.  So for your edification this is what a really corroded and degraded Roman sword looks like.

And so it goes.  Tomorrow we will dive deeper looking for that wall that may have been robbed out for stone, or perhaps is elsewhere, or maybe does not even exist.  And if it does not, well, there will be something else down below.


Harry said...

I know that road you're on -- I've built it in my 3D walkthrough! The houses/shops along either side of it were found (supposedly found) in the 1970s. They show up on all the "official" plans of the fort with the 3rd C vicus. But I've often wondered just how accurate all those perfect straight lines & rectilinear houses really are. It's clear that the team was still learning an awful lot those early years, and maybe confusion set in?

Harry said...

(What's of course really frustrating is if they're having you spend time doing something that was already dug 40 years ago -- thinking of those 1970s pennies & whistle.)