Hello! For those avid followers of the blog you may recognize me from last year’s Vindolanda Field School. My name is Sam Urquhart and I’ve just finished my undergraduate degree at Western with a double major in Comparative Literature & Cultures and the School for Advanced Studies in Arts & Humanities (with an unofficial minor in Classics as well). I’m making a cameo this year for the field school’s first period of excavation – I loved it so much last year I had to come back!
Last week while the field schoolers were exploring out in the North Field, I have been in the vicus with other volunteers. For most of the week, I have had the pleasure of digging with Helga, a brilliant PhD student working on the leather and other bits from Vindolanda. Helga brought great enthusiasm to our trench and kept spirits high singing Heigh Ho in Icelandic. It’s always such a pleasure getting to know people from all over while digging together.
Our place in the vicus saw a great deal of change throughout the week. We began by removing a clay shelf above a Hadrianic surface, then the surface itself before moving into smaller teams and different sections to get down into the very dark muck below. I am very glad I got to dive back into the anaerobic level and see all of the pristine pieces of leather and wood that have been buried for more than a thousand years come back into the light. This coming week, I’ll be moving into a fort ditch!
This week I get to move into a new trench and reunite with Prof. Greene, Prof. Meyers and Prem and have the chance to get to know some of this year’s field school in the field. I can’t wait to see what our new assignment has in store!
Until next time,