Thursday, October 04, 2012

Vindolanda's 2012 Excavation Places Sell Out In A Matter Of Hours

Vindolanda archaeological volunteer programme fully booked within 2 hours.

English: Excavations at Vindolanda Roman Fort ...
English: Excavations at Vindolanda Roman Fort View North across the excavations on the site of Vindolanda Roman Fort. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
People from all over the UK and beyond had their fingers poised at 12 noon on November 1st in an attempt to gain a place on the prestigious 2012 Vindolanda volunteer excavation programme. Places were applied for via The Trust's new website that was launched this year, enabling the process to become seamless and a lot quicker. The Vindolanda team stood by to process applications, which are strictly on a first come first served basis and by 2pm over 600 of the 650 places were snapped up.

Dr Andrew Birley - director of excavations for The Trust commented, 'we make this system as fair as we possibly can and we are aware that there will inevitably be some disappointed people. The programme is hugely popular and the booking process has to be robust enough to cope with demand. Last year we were astounded when the whole volunteer availability was over 90% filled up within 48 hours but this year has been a real record breaker.'

Confirmation emails have been sent to those as far afield as Canada and America as well as to those as local as Haltwhistle. Dr Birley continues, 'it's fantastic to have applications from all over the world, Vindolanda truly is a fascinating excavation site and it is brilliant to be able to share it with so many people.

It will be great to welcome old hands and newcomers to the 2012 programme which starts in the first week of April next year. The archaeology of Vindolanda is well served by this international mix of people of all ages some of whom have considerable experience and others who will have their first taste of field archaeology.
English: Vindolanda Roman fort
English: Vindolanda Roman fort (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Volunteers undertake a minimum of one week but most do more than that and they need accommodation, food etc. which gives a tremendous boost to the local tourist economy. "

The volunteers stay either in purpose built accommodation on site at Vindolanda, The Hedley Building, or within local hotels and B&B's within the area. Volunteers often spend their free time within the local area and it is fantastic for the local economy and many volunteers return year on year. The excavation season runs from April to September at Roman Vindolanda, Bardon Mill, Hexham.

Roman Vindolanda, is fully open throughout the winter for 7 days a week from 10am - 4pm. With Roman Army Museum closing 14th November 2011 to 10th February 2012 and Vindolanda only closing from 2nd January 2012 to 10th February 2012.