Area of Excavations 2013

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

March 29th, 2013, 4:49 pm #1

Continuing from 2011 & 2012, this will be the spot for a quick rundown of progress in the trenches for Vindolanda digging season 2013. Kind of a "getting your eye in" page for mapping where the digging is happening & at least some of the features coming up. As a start, here's an overview of the site. The two main excavation areas highlighted come from the Trust's official blog.



The blue box is the SE quadrant of the visible fort. The yellow-orange area is out in the vicus, among Severan barracks and 3rd C homes/shops. There is a third area in the North Field. However, the Trust has asked that North Field excavations be kept lower profile, so they will not be mapped here.

Remember, WeDig relies on you! The more you can share about where you're digging, the better the trench maps will be from week to week. Please post thoughts, ideas, & photos, and help make 2013 WeDig's best yet!
Last edited by SacoHarry on March 29th, 2013, 4:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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SacoHarry
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Joined: August 22nd, 2006, 9:29 pm

April 15th, 2013, 1:09 am #2

Thanks to the awesome pics & stories from Justin, Terry & Pauline, and Pete/snowglobe, an updated unofficial plan from the end of Session 1.


(Click here for a wider view.)

Session 1 crews did amazing work, revealing what -appears- to be side-by-side centurion's quarters at the northern end of two side-by-side 3rd-Century barrack blocks. (Marked in black, with conjectural dashes for walls that aren't yet obvious from the pics). In the eastern barrack room, diggers found a beautiful flagged floor with huge subsidence in it (brown square in the plan)... It's dipping down into some earlier ditch/hollow/weak spot from an earlier fort. Cool!

To the west of the western barrack, diggers found a nice N/S road/alley with a drain in it. (Road marked in yellow on plan.)

On the west (left) block, a later 4th-Century building was cut right through the 3rd-Century barrack. (The walls, as I understand them, marked in purple.*) This is consistent with what was happening in the barracks in the NW part of the fort that were dug in 2010/2011 -- regular 3rd-C barracks with irregular 4th-C buildings on top.

Then, at the far east side, a very late (5th-C??) crude north-south wall was found near the eastern fort wall, built into what would have been the clay rampart backing the fort wall. (Marked in red.)

(Please keep in mind, this is an unofficial back-of-the-envelope interpretation of the finds. For digger orientation & good fun only. Check out the official Vindolanda blog for official posts & great update videos!)

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* There is another 4th C building that's also been found. I'm confused in the pics about where exactly it is, so haven't shown it.
Last edited by SacoHarry on April 15th, 2013, 11:46 am, edited 6 times in total.
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SacoHarry
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Joined: August 22nd, 2006, 9:29 pm

June 10th, 2013, 12:54 pm #3

I've been watching & enjoying the season unfold. The archaeology coming up is just crazy! What's clear is that the southeast section of Vindolanda was a -hive- of activity for hundreds of years, including well after the end of the Roman era. And there's so many layers sandwiched on top of each other! Hat's off to Andy, Justin, and everyone dedicated to making sense of it all.

I've hesitated to put up any kind of site plan because of the complexity. But after 10 weeks it seemed a good idea to update. If only to get a few ideas & questions going.

So, here's what I'm understanding from the great official video blogs as well as WeDig'ers characteristically awesome photos/updates.

*** Again, major disclaimer -- this is unofficial. This is a layman having fun & trying to make a little sense of on-the-ground stuff to help orient diggers ***


(wider shot here)

There are many, many layers sandwiched on top of each other.

Earliest are the walls in black, and the yellow roadways. Those seem, according to Justin et al, to be 3rd Century walls, built when Stone Fort II was first raised in AD 213. Instead of running north-south like all other 3rd C Vindolanda buildings, these are pretty clearly running east-west. What are they? Time will tell.

On top of the 3rd C material lie the huge east-west 4th C building(s), with walls in purple, and areas of flagstones also in lighter purple. It seems that the 3rd C buildings were pretty well annihilated when the 4th C ones were put up. This area of the fort changed significantly from 3rd to 4th.

The walls marked in blue are my big question mark. These represent some of the highest-standing walls found so far this year, and thus were probably among the latest/most recently-used structures. But I'm confused from the blogs, etc. whether these are supposed to be part of the HUGE east-west 4th C building, or if they're a later 4th C building put up inside the footprint of the early-4th C building. Or if they're post-Roman. Anyone have insight??

Beyond the blue walls, the north-south wall in red, and the patch of light red flagstone south of it, are clearly post-Roman work. They lie on top of what had been the intervallum road just inside the fort's eastern wall. Andy suggests in a video maybe as late as the 6th C. From Justin's latest video, the flagstone sits clearly way above the 4th C material, making it probably much later.

The brown patch is the huge robber trench that destroyed such a wide swath of the late material. :(

OK. So that's what I'm seeing. Please, tell me what's right & wrong. What's known & not. This is an exciting year!
Last edited by SacoHarry on June 10th, 2013, 12:59 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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