Vale Vindolanda

Words cannot express how amazing this experience was and the impact it will have on the rest of my life. As an aspiring archaeologist from the start, getting the opportunity to achieve real world excavations was not only a very practical experience for my career goals, but also a personal dream of mine. It cemented my decision to become an archaeologist.

One of the greatest aspects I will remember about this experience is the friendships I have made and the wonderful people I have met along the way. The camaraderie that I built with these like-minded people will definitely stay with me for years to come.

The Field Schoolers celebrating Canada Day with a BBQ.
The Field Schoolers celebrating Canada Day with a BBQ.
A highlight for me was the weekend we went to Edinburgh. I didn’t expect such a beautiful city. The people were great (who doesn’t appreciate a Scottish accent?), and the restaurants were top quality. To have seen this city with some of the field schoolers was also very fun and we bonded over the experience that is Edinburgh.

A park in Edinburgh.
A park in Edinburgh.
Edinburgh architecture
Edinburgh architecture
Some beautiful words about the city of Edinburgh by one of its own poets
Some beautiful words about the city of Edinburgh by one of its own poets. Inspiring words from the texts of Edinburgh’s authors are all over the city.
Mary, Prem, Nick and I went to a interactive museum all about the evolution of earth called Our Dynamic Earth
Mary, Prem, Nick and I went to a interactive museum all about the evolution of earth called Our Dynamic Earth
I would also like to say thank you to the individual who made it possible for me to attend field school and have this experience. With your donation I had the time of my life, learned more than I could have imagined about Roman Britain, and had the opportunity to test my own physical capabilities. Thank you from the bottom heart! Without you I would have missed out on an experience of a lifetime. And a special thanks should be given to the creators of this field school, Dr. Meyer and Dr. Greene, what a wonderful experience to share with your students!

As the saying goes, time flies when you’re having fun, and this proved to be very true. It seems not that long ago I was unpacking my things and settling into our cottage, or that I was writing my introductory blog. When I remember back to the beginning of field school and to the site introduction I can note just how much we were able to get accomplished, especially with the final conclusion tour given to us by the director of excavations Andrew Birley, the difference we made on Vindolanda is clear.

Looking back on it, it is inspiring to remember that we were excavating something that was two thousand years old, that people just like us were there dealing with the same issues of life (well maybe we didn’t have to deal with invading barbarians, just invading midges!). While it is sad to think that my time at Vindolanda is complete, I am confident I will return there someday, and marvel at the new developments unearthed there, made possible by passionate staff and volunteers. I couldn’t think of a better way to have spent part of my summer and to any of you readers still on the fence of volunteering or not, I say to you, GO GO GO! You will have an awesome time, you’ll meet many friendly people, and who knows, maybe you’ll find something extraordinary!

Over and out

-Rachel McGuire

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