Field School Abstract and Overview
Field School Syllabus and Assignments
Vindolanda is located in the hills of Northumberland in northern England, between the modern cities of Newcastle and Carlisle. The site lies 1.5 miles south of Hadrian's Wall, situated on the original Roman frontier line of the Stanegate Road, dating to the last quarter of the first century AD. The archaeological remains are designated a UNESCO world heritage site and it is one of the main attractions in the central sector of Hadrian's Wall. The site itself comprises extensive remains of the Roman fort and its extramural settlement, archaeological labs for artifact conservation and research, a world-class museum displaying finds from the excavations at Vindolanda, and the newly built Hedley Research Center. Vindolanda is a perfect base from which to explore the Iron Age, Roman and Medieval remains of Northern England and Scotland, as well as to visit important sites south and west of Northumberland in Yorkshire and Cumbria.
Archaeological excavations have taken place on site regularly since the 1960s, and have been under the direction of The Vindolanda Trust since 1970. The excavation and research program is currently directed by Dr. Andrew Birley, with a small team of professional archaeologists who are helped each year by hundreds of volunteer excavators from around the world. The current research agenda involves gathering data from large areas of the fort and the extramural settlement in order to compare assemblages of material from the two areas of the site. Work is also being done in the field to the north of the fort in order to ascertain the archaeological significance and nature of this previously unexcavated area. Preliminary investigation suggests that the field was inhabited during the Roman period and future work hopes to prove the nature and extent of settlement in this area. Excavation takes place every year from April to September. The field school will work together with this thriving excavation program in order to foster international contacts and collaboration amongst North American, British and European students, as well as with the many other nationalities represented on the excavation team each week.