Altar Discovery!!!

Hadriana
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Joined: 12:13 PM - Jul 03, 2009

11:56 AM - Jul 06, 2009 #1

Hi there,

Andrew Birley's team had an amazing find last Tuesday...an altar!!!! (This post has been given the green light by Andy BTW.)

From what I could make it out it is dedicated to Jupiter (and possibly other Gods). It has the I.O.M. initials: to Jupiter Greatest and Best and dedicated by the 4th Cohort of Gauls (I think). It has a carving of a man and a bull on the front portion (die) and a spoon and a skillet on the back (as far as I can remember). I've attached a cellphone photo of it. Hopefully we will hear a lot more about it over the coming weeks.

I am one of a group of people training to be volunteer guides at Vindolanda and The Roman Army Museum. We have just sat our exams with the Institute of Tourist Guiding and following our practical exam last Thursday the attached photo was taken. If/when we pass our exams, and we shall receive our results in the next few weeks, we shall all be guiding at the two sites this season and next season 2011. We look forward to showing everyone your hard work!

Best wishes,

Hadriana
Altar.jpg
Altar.jpg
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Andy
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Andy
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Joined: 2:15 PM - Sep 11, 2006

12:19 PM - Jul 06, 2009 #2

Hi there,

Two Altars.
The one you see on the previous post is indeed to Jupiter Dolichenus, and dedicated by Sulpicius Pundens a commanding office of the 4th cohort of Gauls, most likely serving sometime between cAD213-cAD275. He dedicated another altar at a place called Starward Peel tower, some 4-5 mile to the south of the site so we suspected he was one of ours but could not prove it until last week, great stuff.

The second altar was dedicated by a commander of the 2nd cohort of Nervians, more or less proving the connection to the site once and for all for this regiment. Area A excavations are now closed for the mid season break and will be back up and running next Sunday, Justin's team continue onwards. No doubt the next one will be in area B, we like to share altars out between the two....

best,

Andy
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Andy
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Andy
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Joined: 2:15 PM - Sep 11, 2006

12:21 PM - Jul 06, 2009 #3

P.S.

official press release will come out next week on the www.vindolanda.com website and beyond.

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SacoHarry
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Joined: 9:29 PM - Aug 22, 2006

1:06 PM - Jul 06, 2009 #4

Incredible.

Welcome to the site, Hadriana -- that's what I call a grand entrance! And huge thanks to you, Andy, for greenlighting the announcement here. So many bombshells in one -- a new commander, a whole new regiment. And I missed it all by a day!

The altar in the pic was obviously bashed all to heck. Had it (and the other) been reused as a wall foundation? Was it one of those annual dedication altars that commanders would put up every new year (like the series found at Maryport)?

Neat. Just really neat. Congrats to those who found it.
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Hadriana
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Joined: 12:13 PM - Jul 03, 2009

4:16 PM - Jul 06, 2009 #5

Hi again,

Yes...I thought it might have been two altars but I wasn't sure. Many thanks to Andy for the information and to Harry for the warm welcome.

Lovely site. I will have a good rummage around over the next weeks/months (there's a lot here!) and I will recommend the site to the other guiding volunteers.

Bye for now. Hadriana.
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MichaelH
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Joined: 9:18 PM - Apr 01, 2008

9:02 PM - Jul 15, 2009 #6

Pictures of the larger altar discovered on 30th June dedicated to Jupiter Dolichenus by Sulpicius Pudens commanding officer of the forth cohort of Gauls.
Copy_altar__2___Large_.jpg
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MichaelH
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Joined: 9:18 PM - Apr 01, 2008

9:05 PM - Jul 15, 2009 #7

The altar was found next to a small shrine just inside the fort’s north wall.
Copy_altar__3___Large_.jpg
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MichaelH
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Joined: 9:18 PM - Apr 01, 2008

9:13 PM - Jul 15, 2009 #8

The inscription.

I O M
DOLOCHENO
SULPICIUSPU
DENSPRAEF
COHIIIIGALL
V S L M

I. O. M. (to) JUPITER OPTIMUS MAXIMUS
(JUPITER BEST AND GREATEST)
DOLOCHENO (of Dolichenus)
(by) SULPICIUS PUDENS PREFECT
COHORT 4 GAULS
V. S. L. M.
VOTUM SOLVIT LIBENS MERITO (FREELY AND WILLINGLY FULFILLED HIS VOW)
Copy_altar__1___Large_.jpg
Last edited by MichaelH on 9:16 PM - Jul 15, 2009, edited 2 times in total.
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Badger
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Badger
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Joined: 1:10 PM - May 12, 2008

9:48 PM - Jul 17, 2009 #9

I am curious on a couple of points....was that thing found standing upright? From a post elsewhere it sounds as if it weighs a great deal, so setting it upright does not sound sensible, but from one camera angle it looks as if in its upright alignment it would have stuck up above turf level.

And, why the second trench so far from the main area? Extra big work force that week?

Tim Wolter
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Lyn A
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Lyn A
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Joined: 4:31 PM - Jul 05, 2009

1:20 PM - Jul 18, 2009 #10

Hi All

My hubby and I were the lucky ones that first came across this amazing find, and obviously help followed very quickly after from Andy & Co.

Just to give an idea of how close the altar actually was to the surface and the position found I've (hopefully) uploaded a couple of pictures, the second one also shows the the second altar and the position as found.

So, if that's what we discovered on our first visit to Vindolanda - I can't wait to see what we get next time, lol ;)

Lyn & David Anderson
IMG_1126___Copy.jpg
112.jpg
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