So I can’t believe that our first week is almost wrapped up here in Haltwhistle. This week has been such a blur settling into the groove of excavation. I’m just going to cover the first few days, which don’t worry we’re action packed!
Monday was our first day seeing the site!! The morning we spent getting a tour of the Vindolanda museum by Barbara (Assistant curator at Vindolanda). In the afternoon we did a tour of the site to get our bearings and learn an overview of occupation in the area. Getting to the site in the morning everyone was buzzing to get there and some people (aka me) had trouble sleeping the night before, like Christmas morning. It was so exciting to finally get to see the place we will be spending the next 6 weeks and have been hearing so much about. Walking around the site was a little overwhelming at first but I’m sure eventually that feeling will go away.
Tuesday again started with a museum, but this time the Roman Army Museum. There we got a better understanding of the type of troops and infantry that would have been stationed on the frontier. We also watched this great film where a real archeologist showed us the dedication needed to excavate. After that we went back to Vindolanda and finally got our boots dirty in the North Field, which is where we will be excavating. After the long winter, we started cleaning up the trench to get ready. It was nice to ease into working on the site and start slowly.
Finally our first full day on site came on Wednesday. It was a day full of deturfing and trowelling. I realized I love deturfing!!! It was easy to get into a groove and so nice to occasionally look up and see how much you’d done. This week was a perfect way to ease into the coming weeks. However the best part of the week so far has nothing to do with the Romans (sorry Caesars). Tonight during dinner we heard the glorious ringing bells of an approaching mobile ice cream establishment. I was too excited!!