Last Wednesday I made a feeble attempt at creating a parody of MTV’s Cribs around the Excavation Shed at Vindolanda. If you don’t know what Cribs is, basically it’s a show where celebrities tour a camera crew around their grandiose homes. Here’s the first and only clip I succeeded in making before deciding I couldn’t get through an entire tour without laughing (watch Beth in the background).
And so I’ve created a written version for you.
I’ll start off with an exterior view of the shed’s entrance, which is finished in a nice deep mahogany stain and stands very strong against adverse weather conditions.
As you can see below, the interior has been thoughtfully decked out with timber planks all around for a cabin-esque feel, and let me tell you, when it’s pouring outside this room serves as an incredibly warm and cozy refuge. It houses many things, including our bags, our biscuits and our tea.
At the very back through these rustic French doors is the post excavation area. Here, a group of lovely people work very hard to ensure that every artifact that comes though (mostly pottery and animal bone and a few iron nails) is properly cleaned and catalogued before being shipped off to the museum.
To our left is the kitchen(ish), equipped with everything you really need including: an abundance of tea mugs, an abundance of tea bags and sugar packets, one massive water urn and a smaller kettle, a microwave, a toaster and a first aid kit. This is where the magic happens, where we all collect a few times throughout the day and most importantly for our daily ritual: tea.
Lastly, in the shed is the rafter support beam which holds a variety of goods from volunteers through the years, including a hanging monkey, a pack of Alamo crackers and a kangaroo. Unfortunately, us Canadians didn’t think to bring anything to mark our place in the shed, so hopefully the contingents in the future have the foresight to do so. In the background you can also spot a lovely image of Shrek’s face.
Behind the excavation shed is the Welly storage unit holding all of our smelly rainboots, which have been passed from student to student through the years. This year, a few new pairs had to be ordered, and believe it or not, the last two only arrived today. Luckily, Beth spotted two extra pairs hiding in the excavation shed last week and so we were not forced to work in the anaerobic sludge with only our hiking boots.
Also back here is the not-very-top-secret head honcho shed, where all of the important people hang out. They’re pretty accepting of visitors though and make wonderful neighbours, and will gladly invite you inside for a chat.
Lastly, is the wonderful tool shed, the home to… our tools. It seems dull, but really it’s very important. Without any protection for our tools they’d either go missing, or be perpetually soaked. So thank you tool shed for ensuring I always have my trusty spade, and that my sponges have a chance to dry before I go to bail water out of my flooded trench in the morning.
To end off, here is a wonderful view from our moist patio overlooking the site, which is ideal for hanging out on when its not as drench as it was today.
(As a treat, here’s the second and last clip we filmed for the video version.)
Thanks for watching/reading!