Sunday, June 12, 2011

Soon to be at the Wall

Hello and welcome to our blog.  We love history and B loves Roman Britain.  In a few days, we are off to Hadrian's Wall in northern England.  We will be volunteer archeology excavators at a famous Roman fort called Vindolanda.  B was on the excavating team for two weeks last year and this summer we are both going, along with a very good friend of ours.  Below is a photo of a replica gatehouse at Vindolanda.  More photos and a travel narrative will be forthcoming.

We are aware that not everyone knows about the Roman Emperor Hadrian and the wall.  In about the year 122 A.D. Hadrian ordered a wall built from Wallsend, near Newcastle upon Tyne in the east to Bowness-on-Solway on the west coast.  It took the Roman legions about 6 years to build.  It is 73 miles (80 Roman miles) long and was once 15 feet high and up to 10 feet thick. 

There are a number of forts along the Wall:  Housesteads, Chesters, Birdoswald and our favorite, Vindolanda.  Vindolanda is not actually on the wall, but about 1 mile south.  The fort predates the Wall.  Vindolanda is incredible.  The discovery of the Vindolanda writing tablets 30 years ago was a milestone.  The wooden tablets are examples of the earliest written material in British history.  They give a view of what life was like for the Roman legions (and their families) along the Wall. 

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