2013 Excavations and the new SMC

Andy
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Andy
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Joined: September 11th, 2006, 2:15 pm

September 13th, 2012, 11:00 am #1

Hi All,

In the next two weeks I will be uploading information about next year's SMC and the new Vindolanda research project. I hope that this will answer a lot of questions and prepare everyone for what we are up to next.

very best,

Andrew
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Andy
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Andy
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Joined: September 11th, 2006, 2:15 pm

September 13th, 2012, 1:24 pm #2

Description of the project:

A research excavation at the Roman fort and settlement of Vindolanda which is
based on some of the most important questions raised by the Research
Framework for Hadrian’s Wall. The excavation will take place between 2013-
2017- following on from the final year and successful completion of the 2008-
2012 SMC.

Summary description:

The Vindolanda ‘frontiers in transition’ archaeological research project provides a major opportunity to build upon previous work undertaken at the site of Vindolanda and is targeted at answering some of the most challenging questions left unanswered about the frontier.The ‘frontiers in transition’ archaeological research project covers three centuries of occupation at the site and examines how the earliest 1st century ‘conquest’ period of Vindolanda changed into a series of successive new frontiers; the Stanegate road followed by Hadrian’s Wall. The project also considers the frontier in its most settled period of the 3rd century and examines in detail the wider societal conditions of a frontier community in this period.
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Andy
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Andy
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Joined: September 11th, 2006, 2:15 pm

September 13th, 2012, 1:35 pm #3

A basic guide to what we will be up to.


Research aims and objectives - introduction:

The following research aims and objectives for this SMC application have been carefully considered by the Vindolanda Trust’s Research Committee in consultation with colleagues from across the profession. They offer an important sustainable continuity of the research strategy of the Vindolanda Trust and fulfill the wider aims and objectives as set out by the Agenda and Strategy section of the Research Framework for Hadrian’s Wall (Symonds & Mason 2009). In particular the scale and scope of this proposed project meet the criteria set out in the Action plan section of the Research Framework for Hadrian’s Wall under section D – Flagship projects (Symonds & Mason 2009: 58). The proposed project comprehensively covers a wide range of thematic initiatives which will deliver on multiple agenda items from the Research Framework and will continue to raise the profile of Hadrian’s Wall research on a national and international level while providing numerous opportunities for community/communities involvement in that research.

The project (The Vindolanda ‘frontiers in transition’ project) has three important main objectives, A1 – A3, each with a number of sub-objectives.

A1. The aims and objectives set out in A1 are to examine the transition from pre-Roman to Roman at Vindolanda and thereby gain a better appreciation of both the ‘conquest’ period and the foundation of the pre-Hadrian’s Wall frontier, otherwise known as the Stanegate Frontier. The most appropriate place to examine this transition is in the field to the north of the modern line of the Stanegate road. Here the remains of early timber forts have been partially explored in trial trenching work undertaken as part of the last SMC (2008-2012). The follow on work proposed by this SMC application is a more considered approach based on the geophysical survey of 2008, and the trial trenching of 2009 & 2010.

A2. The results of the 2008-2011 excavations have raised challenging and exciting questions as to how representative the north-western quadrant of the fort was when compared to the rest of the fort. The discovery of a temple dedicated to the god Jupiter Dolichenus during the 2009 excavations, constructed on top of the rampart mound, is a unique feature within a Roman fort from anywhere in the Roman Empire (Birley Andrew R & Birley Anthony R 2010: 25-52). That a temple should be found in such a context contests established perceptions of how military and religious spaces were used within a Roman fort. Added to this remarkable find, it became apparent that the barrack-blocks which were contemporary to the construction and use of the temple, situated to the immediate south, had been gated at its southern end. This was another unique feature which may or may not be directly associated with the nearby temple complex. The gated barracks may have been used to create a ‘gated
community’ or closed off space within the fort itself, perhaps to house a detachment from a different regiment or a segregated part of the community. However, without a suitable comparable dataset of material from another quadrant of the 3rd century fort it remains difficult to ascertain whether or not those living in the north-western quadrant may have been ‘normal’ or ‘representative’ as part of the more general fort community in the 3rd century.
To solve this problem the careful excavation of another quadrant of the 3rd century fort is required to provide a comparable dataset of material culture from which it will be possible to ascertain whether or not the north-western quadrant was representative of the 3rd century occupation inside the fort. It is proposed that this excavation would take place over a five year period in conjunction with area A1.

Area A3:
A3. The Agenda and Strategy report within the Research Framework for Hadrian’s Wall makes it
clear that ‘it is important that researchers continue to devise new ways of interrogating and testing the relationship, both initially and over time, between the Stanegate and the Wall.’ (section 3.7 in Symonds & Mason 2009:38). The proposed research is targeted specifically at interrogating and testing the relationship between the Stanegate and Hadrian’s Wall. It will specifically search for the location of the missing headquarters and granary buildings from the period IV fort at Vindolanda, sites of key interest to this question. The period IV fort at Vindolanda, cAD105-120’s is crucial to the period of Hadrian’s Wall construction as it is the fort that straddles the important transition from the Stanegate to the Hadrian’s Wall frontier (cAD122-130). The potential for learning more about the build up to and construction period of Hadrian’s Wall through an examination of the site of the headquarters and granary buildings within this fort is enormous. The excavation would take place below the floors of later 3rd century vicus buildings (already consolidated and on display) which are situated to the south side of the main vicus east/west roadway.
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Justin-T
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Joined: August 19th, 2009, 4:30 pm

September 13th, 2012, 4:01 pm #4

Thanks very much for posting all this Andy, very interesting reading. Glad to see the North Field having a prominent position in the plan.

Lots of fascinating trenches to be dug in our collective future!
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Andy
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Andy
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Joined: September 11th, 2006, 2:15 pm

September 14th, 2012, 10:54 am #5

No worries :-)

We have been working on this for over two years now and it is will be an extremely exciting, challenging experience. Over the five year period there will be a great deal of opportunities to become involved, and I hope to see many established wediggers as well as new friends.

for further information about next seasons areas please check out the following link: http://vindolanda.blogspot.co.uk/

Also there is some good news on the booking system, we are hopeful that you should be able to book both yourself and a friend in at the same time, something which we are keenly aware of as being a problem for a lot of folks last year. It is quite a technical challenge getting this system right, but we are working on it to make the experience of booking on the 1st as simple and stress free as possible.

best,

Andy


Last edited by Andy on September 20th, 2012, 3:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Justin-T
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Joined: August 19th, 2009, 4:30 pm

September 24th, 2012, 1:28 am #6

Quick question on the A1 trenches. I'm curious whether the thin (most easterly) one is a continuation from where we ended up in July?
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Andy
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Andy
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Joined: September 11th, 2006, 2:15 pm

September 24th, 2012, 9:22 am #7

With a gap, yes. We need to avoid the field drainage system here now that we are aware of it. We will likely encounter more, but if we move some 20m to the west of this years trench we should avoid the whopper altogether.

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SacoHarry
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Joined: August 22nd, 2006, 9:29 pm

September 24th, 2012, 11:51 am #8

BTW, the maps & postings on http://vindolanda.blogspot.co.uk/ are way cool. Exciting to see the plans!
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Justin-T
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Joined: August 19th, 2009, 4:30 pm

September 24th, 2012, 3:02 pm #9

Seconded on the blogspot posts, the diagrams are great to have.

I can certainly attest to the travails caused by that bit of the Victorian drainage system this summer. After another deluge overnight we arrived in the morning to find another baulk collapse, and the suddenly diverted drainage system dutifully depositing gallons per minute into the trench. :-/

Hopefully the biblical rains of 2012 won't be repeated for a long time.
Last edited by Justin-T on September 24th, 2012, 3:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Sue Munro
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Joined: November 7th, 2006, 7:24 pm

September 24th, 2012, 3:31 pm #10

Many thanks for the info Andy, sounds fascinating and rather grand!

I was on the Vindolanda website the other day and noticed some updated information regarding applications. Roll on 1st November; is it wrong of me to want to be either off sick/on strike/still have an unemployed daughter in order to secure places??? :$
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