Footwear Finds

After having a day in the anaerobic I better understand the excitement of finding bits of ancient material incredibly preserved. Although our Canadian Crew was not in the deep at the end of last week there were some excellent discoveries made (this post was unfortunately delayed due to our trip to York this past weekend). Serendipitously, one of Thursday’s finds was a shoe, the very thing I was giving a presentation on later in the afternoon!












I believe this boot best fits the description of the Fell style. It has a studded sole, which can be seen in the second image, and holes to be laced along the top of the foot. The boot found is particularly interesting because it still has all of its features.

This style of boot was very popular during Period V (120-130)  of Vindolanda. The adjustable lace-up design allowed for expansion but also coverage unlike other styles such as the more intricately cut boots, especially as it reaches the ankle (a feature still in tact on the boot above). I imagine that this sort of boot would be preferable in the Vindolanda climate.

On Friday, when our Canadian Crew finally began to go down into our ditch (in our last day), I also had the joy of finding a shoe! Well, a sole at least. Although it was missing a toe, the tapered shape was definitely more thin and elegant than the base of the shoe above. Unfortunately, due to the chronic archaeological condition of Very Muddy Hands as well as general excitement of the moment our team did not actually get a picture of my find. Alas, the moment was one I will hold dear in my shoe-loving memory. I’m quite proud to have had a piece of Vindolanda’s extensive shoe legacy in my time here.


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