Hey everyone! My name is Amanda, and this is my very first time on an excavation site. As a student of history, actually coming into contact with the material culture is really something special, and a privilege all historians and history buffs should experience.
After two days now in Northumberland, we finally caught our very first glimpse of the site itself, where we will be spending the bulk of our time during our six-week quest to unearth some history. I must say we all seemed to burst into little fits of academic glee as we clambered up the hills and stepped over the ancient foundations of Vindolanda.
The fort and the vicus actually seemed to comprise a labyrinth at first glance, as we have to distinguish between the intertwining wall formations of the various different time periods. Sure it may seem like a hodgepodge of sorts to the untrained eye (mine), but after we look deeper we begin to understand the practical nature of the lifestyle within a military fort, and the utilitarian adjustment of the architecture to adapt to the changing times. Much of archaeology involves making logical conclusions based on the physical evidence present to identify their various functions. We can picture what life must have been like (I was particularly amused by the close proximity of the tavern to the barracks).
It was quite a wonderful day, despite the gales of wind, and it truly was a pleasure meeting the other volunteers, some who live locally and others from as far as we are.