On the Saturday we drove over to Vindolanda so that Anne could see the dig site. It was her first visit and she was amazed by the sheer scale of the work being undertaken there. The Vindolanda blog gives a good idea of what is being uncovered this season and what they hope to find with the help of the many volunteer excavators. I was there for period 4 of the digging season – May 10 to 22. During that time we uncovered a Roman road, the remains of a roundhouse from the year 209, found coins, small blades, a ring, lots of broken pottery and animal bones and teeth. In the vicus, the settlement outside the fort, the archaeologists are excavating at a much deeper level, six feet down. Only last week, this is where they found large sections of a leather tent, in excellent condition, made from goat skins. As well as enjoying the dig experience, I also met some lovely people – volunteers from all over the UK as well as Australia, Canada and the US.
Anne and I managed to dodge the raindrops during our walk around the fort and after a tour of the museum, we drove to a place called Alston to take a short trip on a railway line that is being restored along with the steam engine and train carriages. Below is the quintessentially English countryside view from the window.
All in all, it has been a busy few weeks. But now I need to carry on – promoting my new book and preparing myself for the GCLS Conference in New Orleans. Hope to see some of you there.