What do we leave behind?: A Final Farewell

5 weeks

4 shoes

3(00) biscuits

2 presentations

and 1 well-loved trowel later

our time here at Vindolanda has come to a close.

The end of this trip holds a great deal of meaning for me. Not only is today the last day of excavation for us and the last day of excavation for the vicus trench but it also marks the end of my last undergraduate class. When I hand in my excavation journal, I will be handing in my final assignment of undergrad. Repacking a suitcase for the journey home always carries with it a sense of finality. Today, I find an added edge to this finality knowing that the closing of my suitcase brings with it the close of this chapter of my life. A chapter that includes not only the four years I studied at Western but also the preparatory high school years that all seemed to lead up to university and this moment.

But, there was so much to be done along the way and I am thankful for all of the experiences that got me to this point. I am thankful to Beth and Alex who invited me to join this class and my fellow field schoolers for creating such a wonderful experience. Thank you to the volunteers as well as Andy and Penny whose endless patience helped me to slowly learn to tell the difference between a piece of bark and a writing tablet.

Since arriving I have been preoccupied with thoughts of what people leave behind. We have spent the last five weeks learning about and unearthing the lasting legacy of the Romans. Everyone leaves something behind, some sort of lasting effect on a part of the world and the people who occupy it. It is my hope that I have left a positive mark on this site and the people I worked with because I can say, with absolute certainty, that they have done so for me. Here’s to all the hard work, the friendships built, and the artifacts found. May they be a small but wonderful part of the legacy at Vindolanda.

Five happy vicus excavators

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