Recreating the Severan Road

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Clear road surface versus uneven ground above

It has been another great day in the Vindolanda vicus with terrific weather (sunny with a high of 15 degrees celsius!) and some interesting finds. As we are all dispersed among the site’s open excavations, I am currently in the Severan road portion closest to the main road. This location results in many visitors to the site asking us questions that range from the common “So what do you find?” to the hard to describe “How do you know when to stop?” As I have discovered over the last two days, excavating a road requires stepping back and looking at the big picture. Yesterday we believed the road had been mostly cleaned off but with further clearing, a more consistent surface could be seen below that takes on the appearance of rough cobblestones.

When we took the road down farther to this level, Robyn (our fellow Canadian and all around great person), found a partial glass bangle. I think her first words were “Oh a shiny!” This small but pretty piece was the highlight of my day. It may help in understanding different types of jewellery patterns as well as the presence of women on the site.

On the other side of the Vicus, Alex and Morgan finished off their gravel layer and could now get into the fun part…clay. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise as by mid morning Alex found the base of a small Samian ware cup in his square! Careful digging revealed that though it was cracked in several places,  it was actually one entire cup with all its pieces still in place. We all gathered around to get a look at one of the first excellently preserved objects that we will find hidden in the ground around us.

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A black, white, and yellow glass bangle piece found by Robyn.
Alex removing the Samian ware cup.
Alex removing the Samian cup.

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