Hallo! It’s Robin again, and I tell you up until now I have had precisely 2 times in my life where I would get mixed up with other people. Robin’s not a common name, after all.
Now, however, I have not only to distinguish myself from Robin Birley, a big name in archaeology and especially at Vindolanda, but now also from Robyn Cook, a Canadian volunteering on the site! I suppose I now know how all the Johns feel.
Today was certainly a new experience. I was moved to the main fort trench under deputy director Justin and site supervisor Kate, and immediately began work with several new volunteers – some with experience, some with not so much.
The most rewarding part of the day wasn’t the numerous sherds of pottery or the Roman nail I discovered though – it was the occasions when an inquisitive visitor would come to the fence and ask ‘so, what was this bit then?’, ‘when does this date back to?’ Or, my personal favourite, ‘what exactly is going on with the archaeology?’.
Tourists, always asking difficult questions.
Needless to say, I answered with enthusiasm and to the best of my ability. The visitors were astonished by the scale and speed of the excavation, and I must admit that I’m glad I have been listening and keeping up with my readings – some of those explanations were particularly tricky. Luckily, a morning mini-tour by Justin and a healthy dose of occasional panic helped to keep the information fresh in my mind.
Now, I just need to find the time to make another crumble…