First Stop: Corbridge Fort

So we had a fairly jam-packed day today. We found ourselves first at Corbridge, then Chesters, and then briefly at Carrawburgh – all along the Stanegate Frontier, the original frontier that predated Hadrian’s wall in the late 1st century AD, the period which we hope to prove had a fort phase at Vindolanda. While at Corbridge we had a very rare privilege, which is a glimpse of the behind-the-scenes action of a museum. The very lovely Frances gave us an extensive tour of the treasures hidden in the underground vault of the museum and we got to personally handle some amazing artefacts! For example, we encountered a pottery sherd with the makers fingerprints embedded within the clay. That’s quite the ancient DNA sample! Not to mention the beautiful glasswork on display at Corbridge. If I had access to a Roman woman’s jewellery box, I’d be very happy indeed. And of course the very well preserved sections of armour, found within the Corbridge hoard, piqued our interest. The hoard provided some insight into how armour was constructed, which seemed to be alarmingly flexible. Graeme took us out on a tour of the fort next. The granaries at Corbridge are very well preserved, and the stratigraphy of the levels of construction at the fort is quite evident post excavation, with the colonnades along the Stanegate (running right through the fort) clearly at a lower level than the latest incarnation of the road. Corbridge was definitely a highlight of our day.  Image

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