Earthwatch archaeologist Paul Bidwell is known for discovering the great Roman baths in the English city of Exeter and for his many excavations on Hadrian’s Wall.
What new information can we learn about this well-excavated site?
Dr. Bidwell’s team is still examining the buildings of the vicus with the hope of uncovering evidence of what happened to them. They also encountered an unexpected infilled ditch which could have been part of a late defense of the fort—only a full excavation of this feature can reveal its true purpose.
Great Moment in the Field:
The highlight of the 2009 field season was the excitement of opening up a brand new area of exploration within the Earthwatch project site near Hadrian’s Wall in northern England. Scientists were able to quickly confirm that archaeological remains relating to a civilian settlement, or vicus, were present there. The southernmost building was covered by black ash containing burnt daub, which strongly suggests it had been destroyed by fire, possibly as a means of demolition. Future Earthwatchers will continue to excavate in this area, some of which is still covered by modern housing.