Vindolanda wooden collection to go on display

Ancient toilet seat discovered at Vindolanda
Ancient toilet seat discovered at Vindolanda The Vindolanda Trust
Wooden artefacts don’t often stand the test of time but at a site near Hadrian’s Wall nearly 1,500 objects have survived and could go on display for the very first time.

The oxygen-free archaeological make-up at Vindolanda, an ancient Roman fort in Northumberland, has resulted in a rare and internationally important collection of preserved wooden objects.

[quote=Patricia Birley, Vindolanda Trust]“Visitors will be able to see this outstanding collection of wooden objects and the fascinating stories they reveal about everyday life at Roman Vindolanda.”[/quote]

Dating back 2,000 years it includes water pipes, bread shovels, potters wheels and even a toilet seat – a time capsule of every day Roman life on the Northern Frontier.

While the Vindolanda writing tablets, showing the earliest surviving hand written text, are already famous, many of the site’s other objects are still in storage.

The Vindolanda Trust is setting out to change that and have gained initial support from HLF for its project Unlocking Vindolanda’s Wooden Underworld to allow visitors to see them for the first time.

The popular museum will be expanded to create a new gallery with special display cases allowing temperature and humidity to be kept at safe levels. Not only will this mean their story can finally be told but it will also ensure they survive for future generations to enjoy.

Visitors will also hear the incredible survival story of the collection – from the science behind how they lasted two millennia, to their conservation and the research that is uncovering their origins.

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