Image: Roman Vindolanda and Roman Army Museum / Roman Vindolanda and Roman Army Museum

In June 2017 in northern England, a team of archaeologists was busy excavating a Roman fort. Just 15 years earlier, one of the most important discoveries on British soil had been made beneath these ancient walls. Then, in the summer of 2017, experts uncovered something equally thrilling.

Image: The Vindolanda Trust

On June 22, 2017, archaeologists and volunteers from the Vindolanda Trust were working in a trench at Vindolanda, a Roman structure in Northumberland, England. The site was first discovered by modern Britons in the 16th century and was once an auxiliary fort built to house military units.

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Image: Velella

Vindolanda was first constructed from turf and wood around 85 AD and is actually older than the more famous Hadrian’s Wall located north of the fort. In fact, it wasn’t until 122 AD that Emperor Hadrian ordered the construction of that great fortification. Splitting the modern-day regions of England and Scotland, Hadrian’s Wall was designed to separate Roman and Ancient Briton lands.

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