Tag Archives: Roman Fort

Vindolanda: Roman Frontier Fort


It is my GREAT pleasure to announce the publication of  
Into the Lyon’s Den, a shapeshifter paranormal novella
by Champagne Books in August, 2012  Read an excerpt

Note:  Into the Lyon’s Den is NOT a book for children. Rita Bay 

Fort Vindolanda Site

     Vindolanda was a Roman fort on the northern edge of the Roman empire in Great Britain, located in what is now Northumbria.  It was first built around 85 AD after the Romans under the Governor Agricola defeated the northern tribes of what is now Scotland at Mons Graupius (more on that next week). The early forts were built of timber and rebuilt every decade or so.  When Hadrian’s Wall was built about forty years later, Vindolanda was rebuilt of stone and incorporated into Hadrian’s Wall as a wall fort. 

Reconstructed Wall

    When the Romans rebuilt the fort in stone, they first laid down a base of clay and turf over the remains of the wooden forts.  The base created anaerobic conditions (an oxygen free environment) that sealed the 2,000-year-old trash and treasures that laid below.  The remains of the wooden forts now lie 6’ -36’ below the surface.  Since excavations began, archaeologists discovered leather goods, textiles, and wooden and metal objects.  Most significant of all, were the wood slivers that served as paper for the ancient inhabitants.  Military documents, invitations between the ladies who lived in the fort, and personal communications were uncovered, all in excellent condition.     

Vindolanda Model Reconstruction

     Vindolanda was occupied by the Romans until they left Britain in the early 5th century AD.  The forts, manned by the locals, served as barriers to the wholesale invasion by the Picts and Scots from the north of Hadrian’s Wall for another two centuries. 

      The excavations could take over a century to complete.  Every year new discoveries further the knowledge of how Romans stationed on the frontier of Britain lived.  Last year, the skeleton of an 8-10 year old child was discovered under the boards of one of the Roman barracks.  The burial inside the city would have been absolutely forbidden, so foul play is suspected.  To follow the progress of the excavations and learn more about Vindolanda, check out this GREAT site:  http://www.vindolanda.com/index.html.

Tomorrow, a Mother’s Day surprise.    Rita Bay

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