Before this trip, I had never been to Europe, never mind travelling by myself. I was both excited and a little nervous of what I was getting myself into, yet here we are on our last day of field school and I can’t help but feel as if I’m leaving a bit of myself behind here.
We all came to Vindolanda expecting to participate in an excavation, but I think the living world here in England was just as interesting as the past. I can leave the artifacts behind in safe care, but the people are harder. Here I met my sponsor Bert who dedicated his scholarship to his son Ryan Halliday. Without him I wouldn’t have been able to be part of this amazing experience. Don’t worry Bert, even if your son doesn’t think you’re cool we sure do!
My last two weeks in the fort went by in a blur. Sue, Norman and I were a team and each find became “our” find. This included: an “indo” graffito piece, a dog (or cat) print hypocaust tile, a maker’s seal on a cup base, a partial altar, and an inscription of the word “Fidelis” with another dog print. This was the best moment for me, being able to pull something out of the ground that not only had not been seen for years, but probably has a personal story behind it. I even made the Vindolanda Facebook page!
Now we’ve come to the last bit of our trip and all parted ways, but I’m sure us field schoolers will not forget each other in the fall! It’s hard to come out of this adventure not feeling as if you have a connection to the people and places that shared the same great five weeks. This is the end for now but hopefully not forever.
See you later Vindolanda!