Hello everyone! So I am also reporting from the main fort trench (Robin and I have been exiled from the north field until next week). After waving a quick farewell to my old clay ditch (I must say I didn’t shed a tear for those annoying Victorian drains though), I trekked over to the main fort, where I was met with the very lovely Kate and Justin. Right from the start I was met with a very interesting feature, the floor of a 4th century timber building. In contrast to the north field, here we are looking at the latter part of the Vindolanda story, rather than earlier structures. In fact, some of the finds from this part of the fort should shed some light into later Roman activity in the area, and how people adjusted to the changing times. We’ve come across some late – looking pottery types, on which I shall keep you posted after I get the chance to give them a wash, and numerous other small finds well beneath the heavy flagstones. It has been quite the experience over here, and I am learning so many new things every hour, it’s a miracle I can keep everything straight. One of the most important things I have learned about archaeology is the importance of having a systematic and strategic approach to the excavation. As well as the importance of documentation and analysis of where we dig before we shove our trowels in. For an instance, a pattern of black soil began to crop up in the perimeter of or trench (and a ways beyond), which may suggest that our building may be even bigger than we thought! After ever phase of our levelling, we take archaeological photographs of the floor, as well as pinpoint the exact locations of every small find with our total station.
Besides that, I’ve also learned about the amount of dirt one consumes in a day, the importance of finger calisthenics (trowelling gets pretty intense), impromptu lunchtime karaoke, and the unrivalled joy of finding a chocolate biscuit in the biscuit bin. It’s truly a beautiful thing.
Here is a picture of my lovely feature. It’s never quite flat enough! A little overexposed because of the bright Northumbrian sunshine. Who would have thought?
And one of me inside a Roman bath house while we were in Chesters… just for fun.