This afternoon I am posting images and information on this site which lies just to the south of Hadrian’s Wall with history dating back to around AD 85 and which experienced the longest period of occupation on the line of Hadrian’s Wall.

The site combines both military and civilian occupation during the Roman era. There is a cemetery, shops and houses (civilian), bath houses, and the military fort with usual complement of facilities, e.g.HQ building and commanding officer’s residence. There remains much to excavate with teams working away for about 6 months of each year (see video).

The archaeology is impressive enough but the site is perhaps best known for the cache of some 2000 preserved wooden writing tablets which afford us a unique insight into everyday life on the Roman frontier and include:

  • Letters from senior officers and their wives.
  • Reports of military activities and lists.
  • Communications concerning food, clothing and other supplies, building and transport.
  • Information on local place names.
  • Administration of justice.

The inherently wet and anaerobic conditions preserved not only the writing tablets but also textiles, leather and wooden objects from the Roman period, examples of which can be viewed in the on-site museum.

The site also includes a replica of a section of Hadrian’s Wall.

Overall, well worth a visit. Allow minimum of one hour. There are refreshment facilities and a shop.

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