Skip to comments.Hope for further Vindolanda tablet discoveries
Posted on 05/05/2014 1:10:43 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
The site of Roman Vindolanda, in the central section of Hadrians Wall, had over 300 years of Roman occupation, with at least nine forts and settlements built one on top of the other... was one of the main military posts on the northern frontier of Britain before the building of Hadrians Wall. Excavations there in 1973 uncovered writing tablets which had been preserved in waterlogged conditions in rubbish deposits in and around the commanding officers residence. These, and hundreds of other fragments which have come to light in subsequent excavations, are the oldest surviving handwritten documents in Britain, containing everything from military directives to party invites revealing the day-to-day life of Romans on and around Hadrians Wall...
These new deep excavations below the 3rd century stone remains of the Roman town are examining crucial parts of the transition of Vindolanda from an early outpost into a Hadrians Wall construction fort as the excavators drop down into the very heart of the settlement in this period, looking for the headquarters building, the nerve centre of the Roman army.
These levels of Vindolanda produced the finest record of Roman life from Roman Britain in the form of the ink writing tablets, letters, lists and accounts from 1900 years ago. Dr Andrew Birley, Director of Excavations noted: If the excavation here is successful and we find what we are looking for it could be one of the defining moments of Roman archaeology for the 21st century. Dr Birley concludes: Roman army headquarters buildings were the main record offices for the communities, repositories for both pay and administration. At the moment there are no writing tablets which refer directly to the building of the Wall, is this about to change? Excavations started on 7th April and run until 19th September.
(Excerpt) Read more at pasthorizonspr.com ...
Writing-tablet with a letter from Niger and Brocchus to Flavius Cerialis and Vindolanda Fort. Images: Vindolanda TrustWriting-tablet with a letter from Niger and Brocchus to Flavius Cerialis and Vindolanda Fort. Images: Vindolanda Trust
Writing-tablet with a letter from the entrepreneur Octavius to Candidus. Images: Vindolanda Trust Writing-tablet with a letter from the entrepreneur Octavius to Candidus. Images: Vindolanda Trust This is the most impressive and extensive letter found at Vindolanda so far. It is a business letter from Octavius, an entrepreneur supplying goods on a considerable scale to the Roman army. Judging by the form of the script, a number of mis-spellings, and offsets (caused when the leaves were folded before the ink had dried), it was written in haste. He uses a colloquial style, with a variety of financial and technical terms. (read the translation here: http://www.britishmuseum.org/explore/highlights/highlight_objects/pe_prb/w/tablet_with_letter.aspx )
Ready to dig. Image: Vindolanda Trust
That is so cool-the Roman and early post-Roman period of Britain is fascinating.
It’s remarkable how long stuff will last in the rubbish pile. :’)
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Thank you-that is very interesting indeed.