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Thoughts from 2007 season

MBetz
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MBetz
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Joined: November 2nd, 2006, 11:10 am

September 17th, 2007, 7:21 pm #1

This year's excavation season sure had its ups and downs, its dry spells and floods. But most importantly it had a lot of great people volunteering to get muddy and dirty all in the name of knowledge. I had a great time and many of the pictures put up on this website show most other volunteers enjoying themselves no matter the weather! I hope to be back next year for a few weeks and see what it is like to dig on the inner side of a fort wall. I pose a question to the archaeologists and volunteers- What did the 2007 season do for you? For me it was a chance to get back into archaeology and help lead into my present job. It rekindled my love of history as a puzzle when you can sit with a bunch of people drink some beers and talk about what all those artifacts or ditches or postholes mean. Most of you volunteers are not archaeologists for a living though so I am wondering what it is that gets you out of your cozy home and into the rain and sun and muck. And did the '07 season live up to expectations? It may be kinda strange for a question (or two I guess) but it is interesting to read about the experiences that we all have had.
Matt

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

September 18th, 2007, 12:01 pm #2

2007 will be remembered by me for the sea of mud. It has been the quickest season I have ever experienced at Vindolanda, yet despite this we have learned a great deal about the site. The large timber building in trench B just keeps on going to the west, leaving us with tantalising traces of somethin that is now almost completely destroyed through Roman and post Roman activity. Not to forget the crazy ditch systems, those damn field drains (those of you who cut through one know what I'm talking about), and some very nice wells.

In trench A, well, we leaned that the extramural settlement was abandoned at some point in the mid 3rd century and then rebuilt. We also leaned that the placement of that vicus was not in the first phase of plans, as they had started to dig a fort ditch system thorugh the area that the vicus now sits on. To the north we proved once and for all that the Antonine forts went further than their counterparts, probably all three of them, and thus raising interesting questions about the line of the stanegate road.

The very north eastern corner of that wall is now consolidated for permanent display, so all of those who worked on that north wall trench, you have something to remind you of your hard work.

Speaking of all things Antonine, some 190 shoes were recovered from the Antonine fort dicthes, and 16 writing tablets. Of those, three are possible belters, but we will have to wait and see. So 2007 was a great year, and both Justin and I, Beth and Alex are grateful to you all for your help and support. As Justin has already mentioned on this site, we are here to facilitate the excavations and to support them as they continue, you, the wedigvindolanda crew are the Vindolanda excavators, and the site is for you.

stay posted for news on 2007 results as we get them and also more info on the coming 2008-2012 SMC.

best,

Andy
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Duncan
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Duncan
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Joined: November 8th, 2006, 7:59 pm

September 18th, 2007, 6:09 pm #3

This may seem odd given the wet season, but I usually come in May and May 2007 has probably been the driest for me in 6 years!! As always many thanks to Andy, Justin and co. for making the experience educational, informative and above all fun. Area B contunues to be an enigma as Andy suggests but my memory is having spent nearly a week taking the turf and victorian soil away to let my so called friend and fellow undergraduate arrive the next week and get some good finds from the Roman layers I had exposed - Grrrr. Seriously though 2007 gave me what every previous season has given me, 2 weeks of doing what I love.
Duncan.
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brypop
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brypop
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Joined: December 6th, 2006, 11:47 pm

September 19th, 2007, 1:29 pm #4

I must add my thanks to everyone at V for all thier help and encouragement. Andy, Justin, Beth and Robin are such an inspiration to us all. It was great getting to know everyone and forming a well oiled excavation team, not in the alchoholic sense, hic!!!!
I can't wait to get back next year. I would like to give a special thank you to my fellow members of the "Human JCBs", Matt, Kate and Pam, and to the team that joined them in the second week. Also to the Area B team lead by Justin, whom I worked with.
Vindolanda has rekindled my interest in Roman period and has taught me to think hard about the links between the native inhabitants and the Roman administration.
Once again thanks to everyone in the Vindolanda family and I hope there will be many new people joining us.
Bryan :rolleyes: :D
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Kate 13
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Kate 13
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Joined: November 8th, 2006, 4:26 pm

September 20th, 2007, 8:06 pm #5

I want to add my thanks too - Andy, Robin, Justin and Beth - I will keep coming back because I love Roman archaeology and also, it hasn't really rained on me yet at Vindolanda (LOL!). Had a great experience digging the Antonine fort wall this year with the other human JCB's - hope to meet you all again next season back in the trenches. I will be down to see the consolidated fort wall during the second week of October - can't stay away.
Oh - and instead of doing my classics MA, I have switched to studying for an MA in Archaeology and Heritage. I'm truly addicted now.
All the best,
Kate ;)
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Andy
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Andy
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Joined: September 11th, 2006, 2:15 pm

September 22nd, 2007, 11:08 pm #6

Cheers Kate,

Looking forward to you looking in in October, the corner of the fort wall is consolodated and looking good. Good luck with the MA, and it will be great to have you in the trenches again with us next year.

best,

Andy
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mkendall
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Joined: October 16th, 2006, 10:08 pm

September 25th, 2007, 9:09 pm #7

Well it's probably time some-one lowered the tone a bit here, and I feel well qualified for that. I don't know anything about archaeology, but Vindolanda is a very beautiful place to spend two weeks, the company is always interesting, and there are always new things to learn. To answer your question, Matt, I just like the sheer physicality of digging, and spending two weeks in the open air. My colleagues at work think I'm mad but it's a great, and very relaxing, change from sitting in front of a laptop. Kind of digging as therapy!
Hope to see you again next year,
Marilyn
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