Bittersweet Endings and New Beginnings

It really struck me at the end of Friday’s excavations that I wouldn’t find myself in a trench again at the same time on Monday. Even after four weeks of painstaking work, with my newly calloused fingers and my bright scarlet sunburn, each new find was still an exciting one. Even the smallest pottery sherd was still a thrill. It’s good to know that after all the hard work I put into excavation, and all the muscles I grew in the process, I still want to pursue a master’s degree in the Classical and Archaeological fields. With any luck, I’ll find myself in a trench again someday, happily digging away.

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A view of the site from the Excavation Shed on our last day at Vindolanda

I’d like to personally thank everyone at Vindolanda for welcoming me into their community. Dr. Andrew Birley, Marta Alberti, and Lauren Bearpark were all such great sources of support and knowledge, and I’ll be forever grateful for their kindness and guidance. The Doctors Meyer and Greene were, of course, the ones responsible for my trek to the trenches, and I don’t know if I can ever thank them enough. I’ve wanted to dig since I was ten years old, so for me Field School really has been a dream come true. I cannot express my gratitude to its full extent. Hopefully I’ll see you all at Vindolanda again some day.

Each new day brought a new adventure, whether we found ourselves in a new context on site, or whether we set out across Britain for the day – from York to Edinburgh and from Carlisle to little Haltwhistle, excitement followed us wherever we went. I’ll always look back on the memories I made here fondly, and cherish my newfound friends.

To the next field school group, I wish you luck – even though I know you won’t need it. If Beth and Alex have deemed you worthy of the experience, then you’re bound to have a fantastic time. I wish you a plethora of small finds, and even more smaller finds. May many of you hold the Staff of Recognition. I hope that adventure follows you in your journeys, and that mud from the trenches at Vindolanda trails behind you wherever you go.

Best wishes,

Sarah

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