Life on the Wall: Vindolanda

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  • Topic: Roman Empire, Hadrian's Wall, Hadrian
  • Pages : 4 (1419 words )
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  • Published : December 2, 2012
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Vindolanda

Vindolanda was one of a series of Roman forts built in northern England (Northumberland) in the last quarter of the 1st Century AD. It became an auxiliary fort which also had a substantial element of civilian accommodation. The forts stretched from east to west, and are considered to have been a consolidation of the frontier of the Roman Empire. The Romans invaded southern Britain in AD43, and slowly moved north. At one point, they had hoped to conquer all of Britain, but never succeeded. Roman armies had advanced far into Scotland in the 70s AD. But either by choice or necessity, they abandoned these gains and formed a frontier stretching roughly from modern Newcastle in the east to modern Carlisle in the west. The forts, together with the east-west road now known as the Stanegate connecting them, formed this frontier for 40 years. Then Hadrian's Wall was built just to the north, and the Stanegate forts either went out of use or changed their purpose. Vindolanda remained in use, though the ultimate purpose of its garrison (whether support for the Wall forts or protection in an unruly hinterland) isn't fully understood. Vindolanda is permanently under investigation by archaeologists and it is estimated that there is sufficient work, for them for the next 150 years to complete the sites excavation. This Roman Auxiliary Fort guarded the Stanegate Road, which ran from the River Tyne, this would also have made it important in providing supplies to wall forts, maintaining a safe supply chain, as well as reinforcements either way if needed. Other smaller forts and matching camps would have been every days march, about 13 miles along the road. Roman soldiers needed to march from one part of the country to another quickly. So the Romans built roads. Roman roads were made from stones, and were better than muddy tracks for travel on foot or in carts. So they made travelling around Britain easier for everyone. You can still see the remains...
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