Extra-curricular highlights

Andrew here for perhaps my final blog post of the trip.

Excavating day in and out is good fun and hard work, but, as you may know, we have also seen and experienced many other things during our time in jolly old England. I thought that I would include some of the photos I have taken along the way in order to relate some of the other things that we have done in our ‘off time’ from digging.

In our first week we were rained off on Friday, so, instead of digging in the rain, we went for a soggy walk. This particular excursion gave us a chance to see some of the landscape around Vindolanda as well as a few more Roman things – including the quarry on Barcome hill where the stone for Vindolanda was gathered.

Andrew Birley shows the group a Roman milestone still in its original placement after all this time.
A very wet but still happy group, nonetheless.

Our first weekend involved a Saturday off and a huge day-long hike along a central section of Hadrain’s wall. Like most of our experiences here in Northern England, it was a wet but rewarding experience.

A Roman altar at Great Chesters fort along the wall.
A perfect view of milecastle 39 – one of many milecastles seen on our hike that day.

After another good week of digging, we were off to Scotland. As the trip has been covered in a previous post I will not dwell on the details, but instead include a few of my favourite photos.

Alicia shows her love for Scotland at the ‘border’
Cavalry parade helmets found in Scotland. For the Romans, they were a display of opulence, status, and may have even been worn in battle to intimidate the enemy.
The largest coin hoard ever found in Scotland.

Our third week involved another rained out Friday and, you guessed it, a rainy day field trip. We went to a Roma fort site called Housesteads and had another soggy adventure with professor Greene giving the entire Vindolanda digging crew (the brave ones anyway) a tour.

Professor Greene addresses a soggy group. Rachael may not be amused.
View of a granary at Housesteads showing the raised flooring which allowed for air circulation to keep the grain dry.
See the sign for details. A little different from how things are done today………

This past weekend was jam-packed with adventure. We had a trip to Newcastle on Saturday followed by “Friends Night” at Vindolanda, and yet another rainy hike on Sunday. It was the last of our excursions, which I will always look back on fondly alongside our excavating experience.

The Mithraeum at Procolitia – including reconstructions of the original altars found there.
The gang just hanging out in a tower inside the Roman fort at Chesters.
A favourite piece of mine from the Chesters museum.
Some of the girls take a break from looking at the model of Hadrian’s wall to pose for a photo in the Great North Museum in Newcastle.


This is not an entire catalogue of all the things we have taken in during our time here, but I think these highlights show just how much we have done and seen. With any luck we will have a chance to see just a little more before our time is done.


One thought on “Extra-curricular highlights

  1. Thanks, Andrew. I really appreciate you guys taking time to write these posts and I’m glad you’ve enjoyed the non-excavation activities there. I’m looking forward to seeing you all back at Western, no doubt with renewed energy for working on your Latin!

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