Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Theories, and other things, growing at Vindolanda

When digging a place like Vindolanda there is never any certainty about what you will find.  So early results always lead to evolving theories.  By which I mean logical sounding explanations that quickly get disproven.

The three white tags indicate three bits of wood sticking up out of the ooze.  But what are they?  At this point the theories ran along the lines of perhaps a surviving bit of wooden posts from a small building, or from a fence.  The latter have been found before on the site, sometimes with reeds and sticks interwoven, as if to contain some kind of small animals.
Here is a view that gives the perspective a little better:

Here you can see a wider view of the area.  Ignore the black pipe upright on the left-middle of the picture, it is modern.  The rocky surface above the three posts is a cobbled road surface, felt to be somewhere in the mid 2nd century AD.  The three posts are right on the edge of the road.  The underlying layers of grey and black are silt filling in a ditch, which running under the road can be presumed to be earlier.  Notice how the posts are now a little better exposed, and seem to be splaying apart?  Rather odd construction technique I thought, and where are the rest of the posts we should be seeing?