Florida comes to Vindolanda

One of the highlights of research is being able to share your enthusiasm with visitors, and this week Dr Jamie Bojko and Dr Gillian Taylor hosted a group of students from University of Florida at Vindolanda and Magna.

The students were from diverse subject areas, but were fascinated by the talk from CEO Vindolanda Excavations – Dr Andrew Birley showing wooden structure from the earliest roman fort and (after a small hill and hot walk!) the stunning views that Hadrians Wall has to offer. The weather was hot but apparently cool in comparison to florida! The group from Behringer lab were travelling around the UK, as part of the studies, seeing amazing locations and experiencing a wide range of activities, such as snorkelling, rock climbing, hiking stunning coastlines.

The pictures are taken from some of the activities on the wall and UK.. simply stunning..

Talk to Teesside Archaeological Society – Dr Gillian Taylor

It was a great pleasure to be invited to give a talk for the Teesside Archaeological Society. This is a great society to interact and get involved with, so take a look at there website of events over the summer.

The talk was called ‘What the Romans left behind: chemical signatures from occupation layers’  and focused on analytical chemistry, the talk was inspired and taken from our recent frontiers publication, which sounds rather more complicated and boring!! ‘Archaeological soil from Roman occupation layers can be differentiated by microbial and chemical signatures’.   Thankfully I focused on the chemistry and leave the microbial parts to Dr Caroline Orr. The chemistry part focused on faeces, how do we extract, what do we look for and why it is important to know about activity, the talk talked about horse stables, and showed recent pictures of the excavation, the cook house floor and how we can tentatively infer from the soil smell what was going on 2,000 years ago!

But any talk is not complete without discussing climate change and talking about our new lottery heritage funded project, Roman Magna, a site under threat and changing, and I presented some of the data we are recording and how we are using the data.. There is an amazing new dig diary to follow. I will be at the magna site and presenting work at conferences in the summer so also watch this space for updates..