I Hear the Rains Down in Vindolanda

Today was the first “cold” day we have had since we’ve arrived at field school and it was also the first day of excavations. It rained for most of the day which was also a first since our arrival. The excavations today consisted of cleaning up the trench edges, and clearing away the loose soil which took up the majority of our time. Here and there were finds of Victorian pottery but we had yet to really get into anything Roman. This wasn’t exactly like the fabulous finds of the archaeologists I watched on TV as a kid. In no time, my bright pink raincoat became dull from the dirt and my pants were caked in mud. For hours, I was in the trench on me knees with one hand in the cold mud and the other scraping away the mud with my trowel.

Pieces of Victorian pottery I found


Nonetheless, I have never been more excited in my life. Despite cold fingers as I used my trusty trowel Trudy to scoop the loose dirt into my hand shovel, I was elated. All my life I’ve been waiting to literally get my hands dirty to get any kind of experience in archaeology. I was ecstatic to see the first steps of an archaeological dig as one day I hope to be doing this as my career. I know my enthusiasm will not wane as it can only grow from here as we uncover more artifacts. The happiness I feel while excavating fuels my motivation even more than before to become an archaeologist. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll be fortunate enough to come back to the Vindolanda Field School as the professor in charge!

Photo of me in the trench today taken by Aline McQueen

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