Roman Magna Project to uncover stories of Hadrian’s Wall fort
Over the last two decades, the land to the north of the fort has been rapidly drying out. This has resulted in significant damage to the peat and organic soils that have formed a protective layer over the ancient Roman landscape. As further damage is created due to climate change, the precious, organic Roman layers are starting to become exposed and put at risk.
Addressing the impact of climate change
The project will help the Vindolanda Charitable Trust to better understand and address the impacts that climate change has had on the Magna site to date. It will also allow the Trust to take the actions needed to protect the exceptional monument and the treasures that it holds.
The fort of Magna has not yet been the subject of a sustained research excavation. However, recent geoarchaeological surveys have shown that it holds some of the richest environmental and cultural finds ever discovered at the World Heritage Site of Hadrian’s Wall.
This project will help us understand the environmental pressures our site is under and enable us to plan appropriately for its future management.
Dr Andrew Birley, Vindolanda Trust CEO & Director of Excavations
Sharing diverse heritage
Magna Roman Fort was home to two of the most exotic regiments to have served in Roman Britain – the Syrian Archers and the Dalmatian Mountain soldiers. It is hoped that the five-year research excavation at the site will unveil untold histories that celebrate the diversity of the ancient people of Hadrian’s Wall.
The Trust will also create a new purpose-built facility at the Roman Army Museum on the site of the fort, where they can run more exciting events and activities so that people can get hands-on with this fascinating heritage.
Dr Andrew Birley, Vindolanda Trust CEO & Director of Excavations, said: “In a year when we have marked 1,900 years since the construction of Hadrian’s Wall began, we must also look to the future to protect this irreplaceable monument for the next 1,900 years and beyond. This project will help us understand the environmental pressures our site is under and enable us to plan appropriately for its future management.”
Anne Jenkins, Executive Director, Business Delivery at The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “It’s fantastic news that the Heritage Fund is supporting this forward-looking project from the Vindolanda Trust. Not only will this project share the diverse and untold heritage of the Magna fort, but it will address the impacts of climate change on this significant archaeological site and undertake work in order to alleviate these effects.”
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