Flash back to when you were five years old and you go to any museum and immediately make your way over to the sand box where you can uncover hidden dinosaur bones. The museum staff stationed there instruct you on how to carefully dust away the sand from the bones with various brushes and tools. You’re not really listening; you were just too excited because hello, dinosaurs! Sort of like my little brother and I at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto Canada, back when we were much younger (below).
Jump a little ahead now to the first time you can ever remember hearing about something ancient being pulled out of the ground. I can remember back in grade three, learning about the First Nations of Canada and the types of remains found in the archaeological record. Personally, I did not fully understanding their overall importance to Canada or archaeology at the time. That of course has since changed for me.
Fast forward to today when we visited the Vindolanda site for the first time and it probably could not have been a more beautiful day. The sun was shining all day (I know crazy right?) We had a very informative morning lecture with Dr. Meyer to refresh and kick-start our Roman History knowledge before meeting up with Dr. Greene and Prem on site. Myself, along with pretty much every other Field-schooler were too caught up in excitement and adrenaline to think about taking many photos, especially when we got to hold and pass around some scrap leather and wood from an active excavation site from Phase 3 of Vindolanda with the timber wood buildings. I did manage to get a photo of the trench for a sense of what we were looking at. I’m certain I speak for everyone here when I say we cannot wait to literally get our hands dirty next Monday and have our first real taste of archaeology. I know I’m ready to “graduate” from the museum sandbox archaeology.
(On a side note, technically the study of dinosaur bones is specifically palaeontology, but “archaeology” made for a more aesthetically pleasing title.)