Monday, June 13, 2016

Vindolanda Update

So much, so very much cool stuff coming up since my departure.  The Vindolanda twitter and blog updates are better this year so I will at least for the digging season link to the latter over on the right side of this page.  I was really impressed for instance with the extremely pornographic pottery item that I imagine as being the tip jar for a brothel!

As to the nice anaerobic excavation that I left - slight tear in eye and catch in throat - at the end of my first week of digging.  Well here it was after we gave it a quick clean up on a muddy Friday:

We had to leave it be after that.  It was just such a complicated mess that the supervising archaeologists needed to get their cameras out and their thinking caps on to try and make sense of it. We were speculating that there might be a water tank underneath as various drains were present and the whole mess of stone slabs and oak planks appeared to be subsiding.

Well.  Here is a photo courtesy of my roving photographer mate Peter Savin.  You will have to rotate your orientation ninety degrees but the same structures can be seen.  Some of the mud and random wood has been cleared away.

It is now looking much more like a proper floor surface, albeit one that has not held up well over time. The flat bare surface on the near side of the trench is, well its something else.

Just for fun here's a close up from the later photo.  Pete's camera is a big fellow with plenty o' megapixels.

The round object near the top has striations on it.  This is a quern stone used for grinding grain. Usually you find them in a broken state, tossed into a pit as filler or onto a wall as a repair measure. But this close to a baking oven site, who knows.

I would like to imagine that the frondy looking stuff in the lower center of the photo might be bracken, the loose heather stuff that the Romans used as a floor covering.  That's where you find the really interesting little items.  Human beings drop things.  Maybe the Romans dropped more stuff as they had not invented pockets for clothing.  Imagine dropping something into very deep and slightly smelly shag carpeting.  You'd probably just leave it there.

Photos from the site are hit and miss for me now.  If I can get a later and deeper view I will pass it along.

No comments: