Today we had a very productive day in the fort. While my area, a “sandwich shop” that we are dropping down to a fourth century road is yielding very little, the fort ramparts excavators had a banner day. They discovered a tile with a small paw print in it before lunch, prompting hot debate over whether it was a dog or a cat.
When they uncovered a small altar to a deity, with a symbol incised in the flat surface, everyone crowded around trying to get a look and it was all quite exciting even if the symbol looks something like an alien according to some people. This makes the second small altar found in the fort during our time here at Vindolanda, with Eugene finding the small corner of a personal altar during our first session. Sadly when we turned the altar over it appears to have been broken and there is no inscription on it, so no champagne celebration for us, but it is a very cool find none the less and hopefully the rest of it will turn up in further excavations. Watch out for live updates and more information on this artifact and more at the Vindolanda Trust’s official facebook page https://www.facebook.com/TheVindolandaTrust?fref=ts
Because the ramparts are built and filled in with random bits and pieces and rubble from other areas it will be difficult if not impossible to find the original home of this altar. We also had a visitor to stop by today who had last visited the site 50 years ago as a school boy and had a very cool picture he took of the praefects house at that time, looking quite different. As Andy said “oh that’s when we had grass in there.”
All in all an interesting day, with many good finds!