My time in the Vicus was nothing short of awesome. The majority of the week was spent digging down to a timber fort structure, which lays under the Antonine road and the Severan barrack block. By Thursday, my fellow excavators and I had a good layout of the base of a wattle and daub fence, its posts, and the collapsed fence itself.
The most amazing thing about this wattle and daub fence is its state of preservation. This fence was found in a layer of anaerobic material, essentially soil that is oxygen free, which is perfect for preserving organic materials such as this wooden fence, leather, textiles, and of course writing tablets. Also, the texture and smell of an anaerobic layer is very distinct. The soil is very wet and falls apart beautifully around all artifacts. The smell is musty. You will always know when you have reached an anaerobic layer!
On Friday, we uncovered some cool finds, which anaerobic layers also preserve! Personally, I found a cool base to a pot.
And a beautiful piece of samian ware…
So far there has not been enough material culture to comfortably identify the function of the building that we excavated. I am looking forward, however, to future finds that will shed light on the nature and use of the building!