Our visit happened to coincide with the annual Vindolanda Friends night, when the 1,000 or so Friends of the Vindolanda Trust can meet the staff and get a live update on site. About 150 or so were present this time.
After a midge infested start from Patricia Birley, telling us about the Trust's non-digging news while we listened near the museum, we moved up to the fort. Midge-free, but cold in the stiff breeze.
Here's a shot of the spoil heap from all the southeast quadrant work this season being moved, ready for the coming week:
(Pic later, can't get it from my big camera onto the iPhone I'm connecting to the net with)
Justin Blake gave us his usual energetic update of the fort progress, making sense of the huge and complex expanse of stone. At least three periods of occupation are clear, with a very late possibly post Roman building lying on top of 3rd, 4th and possibly even 5th century remains.
(Pic to come)
Andrew Birley gave a description of some finish-up work being done in the vicus, on a pair of small wattle & daub structures in a pre-Hadrianic level, probably 105-120AD. They will shortly be covering them back up with the same clay that had maintained the anaerobic conditions for 1900 years. Photo to come...
And finally, Beth Greene described the complex and interesting set of ditches, pits and a hearth in the North Field. Dating evidence for these is scant at the moment, not clear yet whether any of the ditches are pre-Hadrianic. The trench has been so productive it will be continued into next season. Pic to come.