Looting at Corbridge

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Corbridge © David Gill

Historic England has noted that metal-detectorists have been active on part of the scheduled Roman site at Corbridge in Northumberland.

Do we need to change the language used to describe such activity? Do archaeologists need to start talking about the intellectual implications of such illegal activity? What information is being lost from the finite archaeological record?

Further details can be found on Looting Matters.

Lindisfarne Priory: pantry

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Lindisfarne Priory © David Gill

The ‘pantry’ is located in the west range of Lindisfarne Priory. The current English Heritage guidebook defines it on the plan as a cellar, and suggests that the three rooms were created in the middle of the 14th century.

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Lindisfarne Priory © David Gill

Vindolanda: organic finds

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Vindolanda Museum © David Gill

Some of the organic finds from the excavations at the site of Vindolanda to the south of Hadrian’s Wall have now been put on display in a series of impressive displays in the site museum (see press release). The focus is on the wide range of objects made from wood.

The new displays have been funded through support from the HLF.

Leaving traces in the landscape

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Duntulm, Skye © David Gill

Concerns are being raised about visitors creating piles of cairns that detract from the landscape (Michael Cox, ‘Beaches ‘spoiled’: Should rock stacking be banned?‘, BBC News 11 August 2018). John Hourston of the Blue Planet Society is quoted: ‘The first rule of the environment is leave no trace … If we educated people to understand that philosophy I think then people would have second thoughts about making a personal statement with a rock stack.’

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Neist Point, Skye © David Gill

The issue is not just one for Scotland. This summer we observed the phenomenon on Lindisfarne, Northumberland.

Tourists need to leave the landscape as they find it.

Warkworth Hermitage: chapel

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Warkworth Hermitage, ‘east’ end © David Gill

The chapel lies at a raised level within the cliff face alongside the river. The ‘east’ end in effect points south-east. It is c. 6.2 m long, and 2.3 m wide.

At the east end is a rock-cut altar.

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Warkworth Hermitage, ‘west’ end © David Gill

At the west end there is an entrance from the exterior, and opposite it, the doorway into the sacristry.

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Warkworth Hermitage, chapel vaulting © David Gill

The ceiling consists of three sections with mock vaulting. In the central section is a rock-cut basin.

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Warkworth Hermitage, basin © David Gill

Warkworth Castle: Beer Cellar

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Warkworth Castle © David Gill

The beer cellar is located in the western side of the Great Tower of Warkworth Castle (with the wine cellar on the east side). The stairway provides access to the first floor.

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Warkworth Castle © David Gill

Vindolanda: the strong room

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Vindolanda © David Gill

At the heart of the Roman fort at Vindolanda lay the headquarters building. Excavations in 1933 revealed the 4th century phase of the construction. On the south side lay the sacellum and the strong room. This part of the building was indicated by a Ministry of Works sign (see other signage from the site including the milestone).

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Strong Room, Vindolanda © David Gill

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Sacellum and strong room, Vindolanda © David Gill