Banna, now known as Birdoswald Roman Fort, was a fort, towards the western end of Hadrian's Wall, in the Roman province of Britannia. Today the site is occupied by a former farm called Birdoswald; as of 2005, it is the only site on Hadrian's Wall at which significant occupation in the post-Roman period has been proven, it is subject to a long-term archaeological programme under the directorship of Tony Wilmott. It is one of the best preserved of the 16 forts along Hadrian's Wall; the fort is situated in a commanding position on a triangular spur of land bounded by cliffs to the south and east overlooking a broad meander of the River Irthing in Cumbria. In Roman times, the fort was known as Banna. Cumbria County Council were responsible for the management of Birdoswald fort from 1984 until the end of 2004, when English Heritage assumed responsibility; the fort was occupied by Roman auxiliaries from AD 112 to AD 400. In this western part of Hadrian's Wall, the wall itself was built from turf replaced with stone.
The stone fort was built some time after the wall, in the usual playing card shape, with gates to the east and south. Inside were built the usual stone buildings, a central headquarters building and barracks. Unusually for an auxiliary fort, it included an exercise building reflecting the difficulties of training soldiers in the exposed site in the north of England; the fort has been extensively excavated for over a century, with twentieth century excavations starting in 1911 by F. G. Simpson and continuing with Ian Richmond from 1927 to 1933; the gateways and walls were re-excavated under the supervision of Brenda Swinbank and J P Gillam from 1949-1950. Excavations between 1987 and 1992 showed an unbroken sequence of occupation on the site of the fort granaries, running from the late Roman period until 500AD; the granaries were replaced by two successive large timber halls, reminiscent of others found in many parts of Britain dating to the 5th and 6th centuries. Tony Wilmott has suggested that, after the end of Roman rule in Britain, the fort served as the power-base for a local warband descended from the late Roman garrison and deriving legitimacy from their ancestors for several generations.
Extensive geophysical surveys, both magnetometry and earth resistance survey, were conducted by TimeScape Surveys between 1997 -2001. These surveys established; the surveys detected two vici of different characters on the eastern and western sides of the fort. The surveys by TimeScape determined the location of a bathhouse in the valley of the River Irthing. An area between the fort and the escarpment was excavated by Channel 4's archaeological television programme Time Team in January 2000; the excavation detected signs of an extramural settlement, but the area is liable to erosion and the majority of the vicus could have fallen over the cliffs. The two mile sector of Hadrian's Wall either side of Birdoswald is of major interest, it is the only known sector of Hadrian's Wall in which the original turf wall was replaced by a stone wall on a different line. When the rebuilding took place the line of the wall was moved 50 metres further north, to line up with the fort's north wall, rather than its east and west gates.
The reasons for this change are unclear, although David Woolliscroft has plausibly suggested that it was the result of changing signalling requirements. At any rate, this remains the only area. 600 metres east of Birdoswald, at the foot of an escarpment, lies the remains of Willowford bridge. This carried Hadrian's Wall across the River Irthing; the westward movement of the river course over the centuries has left the east abutment of the bridge high and dry, while the west abutment has been destroyed by erosion. The much-modified visible remains are impressive; until 1996, these remains were not directly accessible from the fort, but they can now be reached by a footbridge, lowered into position by an RAF Chinook helicopter. The fort at Birdoswald was linked by a Roman road, known as the Maiden Way, to the outpost fort of Bewcastle, seven miles to the north. Signals could be relayed between the two forts by means of two signalling towers. Today the fort's site is operated by English Heritage as Birdoswald Roman Fort.
The visitor centre features displays and reconstructions of the fort, exhibits about life in Roman Britain, the site's history through the ages, archaeological discoveries in the 19th and 20th centuries. Visitors can walk outside along the excavated remains of the fort. Biggins, J. A. and Taylor, D. J. A. 1999, A Survey of the Roman Fort and Settlement at Birdoswald, Cumbria. Britannia. 30. 91-110. Biggins, J. A, Taylor, D. J. A. 2004, Geophysical Survey of the Vicus at Birdoswald Roman Fort, Britannia 35, 159-178. Wilmott, Tony. Michael Hadrian's Wall, ed. A. Burnham, The Megalithic Portal Wilmott, Birdoswald Roman Fort, Tempus, ISBN 978-0-7524-1913-8 Woolliscroft D. J. "Hadrian's Wall from the air", Tempus,ISBN 0-7524-1946-3 BANNA Hadrian's Wall as it exists today Visitor information: English Heritage Updates on the 2009 Birdoswald excavations: English Heritage Time Team excavation Interactive tour Visit Cumbria information on Birdoswald, includ
Syria the Syrian Arab Republic, is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon to the southwest, the Mediterranean Sea to the west, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, Israel to the southwest. A country of fertile plains, high mountains, deserts, Syria is home to diverse ethnic and religious groups, including Syrian Arabs, Armenians, Kurds, Circassians and Turks. Religious groups include Sunnis, Alawites, Isma'ilis, Shiites, Salafis and Jews. Sunni make up the largest religious group in Syria. Syria is a unitary republic consisting of 14 governorates and is the only country that politically espouses Ba'athism, it is a member of one international organization other than the United Nations, the Non-Aligned Movement. In English, the name "Syria" was synonymous with the Levant, while the modern state encompasses the sites of several ancient kingdoms and empires, including the Eblan civilization of the 3rd millennium BC. Aleppo and the capital city Damascus are among the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world.
In the Islamic era, Damascus was the seat of the Umayyad Caliphate and a provincial capital of the Mamluk Sultanate in Egypt. The modern Syrian state was established in mid-20th century after centuries of Ottoman and a brief period French mandate, represented the largest Arab state to emerge from the Ottoman-ruled Syrian provinces, it gained de-jure independence as a parliamentary republic on 24 October 1945, when Republic of Syria became a founding member of the United Nations, an act which ended the former French Mandate – although French troops did not leave the country until April 1946. The post-independence period was tumultuous, a large number of military coups and coup attempts shook the country in the period 1949–71. In 1958, Syria entered a brief union with Egypt called the United Arab Republic, terminated by the 1961 Syrian coup d'état; the republic was renamed into the Arab Republic of Syria in late 1961 after December 1 constitutional referendum, was unstable until the 1963 Ba'athist coup d'état, since which the Ba'ath Party has maintained its power.
Syria was under Emergency Law from 1963 to 2011 suspending most constitutional protections for citizens. Bashar al-Assad has been president since 2000 and was preceded by his father Hafez al-Assad, in office from 1971 to 2000. Since March 2011, Syria has been embroiled in an armed conflict, with a number of countries in the region and beyond involved militarily or otherwise; as a result, a number of self-proclaimed political entities have emerged on Syrian territory, including the Syrian opposition, Tahrir al-Sham and Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Syria is ranked last on the Global Peace Index, making it the most violent country in the world due to the war, although life continues for most of its citizens as of December 2017; the war caused more than 470,000 deaths, 7.6 million internally displaced people and over 5 million refugees, making population assessment difficult in recent years. Several sources indicate that the name Syria is derived from the 8th century BC Luwian term "Sura/i", the derivative ancient Greek name: Σύριοι, Sýrioi, or Σύροι, Sýroi, both of which derived from Aššūrāyu in northern Mesopotamia.
However, from the Seleucid Empire, this term was applied to The Levant, from this point the Greeks applied the term without distinction between the Assyrians of Mesopotamia and Arameans of the Levant. Mainstream modern academic opinion favours the argument that the Greek word is related to the cognate Ἀσσυρία, Assyria derived from the Akkadian Aššur; the Greek name appears to correspond to Phoenician ʾšr "Assur", ʾšrym "Assyrians", recorded in the 8th century BC Çineköy inscription. The area designated by the word has changed over time. Classically, Syria lies at the eastern end of the Mediterranean, between Arabia to the south and Asia Minor to the north, stretching inland to include parts of Iraq, having an uncertain border to the northeast that Pliny the Elder describes as including, from west to east, Commagene and Adiabene. By Pliny's time, this larger Syria had been divided into a number of provinces under the Roman Empire: Judaea renamed Palaestina in AD 135 in the extreme southwest.
Since 10,000 BC, Syria was one of the centers of Neolithic culture where agriculture and cattle breeding appeared for the first time in the world. The following Neolithic period is represented by rectangular houses of Mureybet culture. At the time of the pre-pottery Neolithic, people used vessels made of stone and burnt lime. Finds of obsidian tools from Anatolia are evidences of early trade relations. Cities of Hamoukar and Emar played an important role during Bronze Age. Archaeologists have demonstrated that civilization in Syria was one of the most ancient on earth preceded by only those of Mesopotamia; the earliest recorded in
In historiography, ancient Rome is Roman civilization from the founding of the Italian city of Rome in the 8th century BC to the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD, encompassing the Roman Kingdom, Roman Republic and Roman Empire until the fall of the western empire. The civilization began as an Italic settlement in the Italian Peninsula, conventionally founded in 753 BC, that grew into the city of Rome and which subsequently gave its name to the empire over which it ruled and to the widespread civilisation the empire developed; the Roman Empire expanded to become one of the largest empires in the ancient world, though still ruled from the city, with an estimated 50 to 90 million inhabitants and covering 5.0 million square kilometres at its height in AD 117. In its many centuries of existence, the Roman state evolved from a monarchy to a classical republic and to an autocratic semi-elective empire. Through conquest and assimilation, it dominated the North African coast and most of Western Europe, the Balkans and much of the Middle East.
It is grouped into classical antiquity together with ancient Greece, their similar cultures and societies are known as the Greco-Roman world. Ancient Roman civilisation has contributed to modern language, society, law, government, art, literature and engineering. Rome professionalised and expanded its military and created a system of government called res publica, the inspiration for modern republics such as the United States and France, it achieved impressive technological and architectural feats, such as the construction of an extensive system of aqueducts and roads, as well as the construction of large monuments and public facilities. The Punic Wars with Carthage were decisive in establishing Rome as a world power. In this series of wars Rome gained control of the strategic islands of Corsica and Sicily. By the end of the Republic, Rome had conquered the lands around the Mediterranean and beyond: its domain extended from the Atlantic to Arabia and from the mouth of the Rhine to North Africa.
The Roman Empire emerged with the dictatorship of Augustus Caesar. 721 years of Roman–Persian Wars started in 92 BC with their first war against Parthia. It would become the longest conflict in human history, have major lasting effects and consequences for both empires. Under Trajan, the Empire reached its territorial peak, it stretched from the entire Mediterranean Basin to the beaches of the North Sea in the north, to the shores of the Red and Caspian Seas in the East. Republican mores and traditions started to decline during the imperial period, with civil wars becoming a prelude common to the rise of a new emperor. Splinter states, such as the Palmyrene Empire, would temporarily divide the Empire during the crisis of the 3rd century. Plagued by internal instability and attacked by various migrating peoples, the western part of the empire broke up into independent "barbarian" kingdoms in the 5th century; this splintering is a landmark historians use to divide the ancient period of universal history from the pre-medieval "Dark Ages" of Europe.
The eastern part of the empire endured through the 5th century and remained a power throughout the "Dark Ages" and medieval times until its fall in 1453 AD. Although the citizens of the empire made no distinction, the empire is most referred to as the "Byzantine Empire" by modern historians during the Middle Ages to differentiate between the state of antiquity and the nation it grew into. According to the founding myth of Rome, the city was founded on 21 April 753 BC on the banks of the river Tiber in central Italy, by the twin brothers Romulus and Remus, who descended from the Trojan prince Aeneas, who were grandsons of the Latin King Numitor of Alba Longa. King Numitor was deposed by his brother, while Numitor's daughter, Rhea Silvia, gave birth to the twins. Since Rhea Silvia had been raped and impregnated by Mars, the Roman god of war, the twins were considered half-divine; the new king, feared Romulus and Remus would take back the throne, so he ordered them to be drowned. A she-wolf saved and raised them, when they were old enough, they returned the throne of Alba Longa to Numitor.
The twins founded their own city, but Romulus killed Remus in a quarrel over the location of the Roman Kingdom, though some sources state the quarrel was about, going to rule or give his name to the city. Romulus became the source of the city's name. In order to attract people to the city, Rome became a sanctuary for the indigent and unwanted; this caused a problem, in that Rome was bereft of women. Romulus visited neighboring towns and tribes and attempted to secure marriage rights, but as Rome was so full of undesirables he was refused. Legend says that the Latins invited the Sabines to a festival and stole their unmarried maidens, leading to the integration of the Latins with the Sabines. Another legend, recorded by Greek historian Dionysius of Halicarnassus, says that Prince Aeneas led a group of Trojans on a sea voyage to found a new Troy, since the original was destroyed at the end of the Trojan War. After a long time in rough seas, they landed on the banks of the Tiber River. Not long after they landed, the men wanted to take to the sea again, but the women who were traveling with them did not want to leave.
One woman, named Roma, suggested that the women burn the ships out at sea to prevent their leaving
Arthuret is a civil parish in the Carlisle district of Cumbria, England. According to the 2001 census it had a population of 2,434; the parish includes the village of Easton. It is bounded by the River Esk to the River Lyne to the south; the interpretation of the name Arthuret has presented problems. The name can be associated with the battle of Armterid recorded in the mid-10th century Welsh Annales Cambriae as having taken place in c. 573. However, "...it seems safer to leave the interpretation of' Armterid' an open question." The site of the church overlooks a suggested site of the Battle of Arfderydd, fought in 573 A. D. mention of which appears in Geoffrey of Monmouth's Vita Merlini and in the Annales Cambriae. The battle took place early in the reign of the King of Strathclyde, Rhydderch Hael, between the Warlord Gwenddoleu ap Ceidio and his cousins Peredur and Gwrgi, Princes of either Ebrauc, or from Gwynedd. In this battle, Gwenddoleu lost his life, it is not known if one of his brothers and Caw, survived to succeed him as king of Arfderydd afterwards.
In this battle Myrddin killed his nephew, fighting on the opposing side. This act drove Myrddin mad and he spent the rest of his life roaming the Forests of Celyddon. 140 other men of rank perished in these woods. In the Black Book of Carmarthen is recorded a poem which takes the form of a dialogue between Myrddin and the Welsh bard Taliesin; the battle is said to have lasted six weeks and three hundred men were killed and buried nearby. It was one of the three futile battles of Britain, fought over a lark's nest; the church tower stones are unusual in that many of them have masons' marks which are visible. This church was built as a result of a national fundraising ordered by James I in 1607 because the existing church had been devastated by Scots reivers/raiders and to benefit the parishioners who were rejecting Christ's teachings. Part of the sum was stolen and this delayed the construction of the new church. A holy well is located on the edge of the mound, it is a well-built structure, with stone canopy and steps.
It was still used for baptisms until the 1970s. Netherby Hall, the historic home of the Graham family, is a Grade II* listed mansion, it stands upon the site of the Roman fort of Castra Exploratorum. Its nucleus is a 15th-century pele tower, extended or altered in 1639 for Sir Richard Graham and enclosed by extensive additions to the house, with further extensions taking place in 1833 for Sir James Graham l by William Burn; the original pele tower is thought to have been built with stone from the fort and the remains of the fort and its vicus noted by Tudor antiquarians have been obliterated by the extensions of the Hall The Netherby Estate, owned by the Graham family for 400 years, extends over a large area of the parish along the Scottish border. A Gothick folly known as the Coop House was built about 1772 as an adornment to the estate, it is now leased by the Landmark Trust, has been restored. Listed buildings in Arthuret Begg, Ean. & Rich, Deike. On the Trail of Merlin. ISBN 0-85030-939-5 Glennie, John S. Stuart.
Arthurian Localities. Pub. Edinburgh. P.68. Mack, James Logan; the Border Line. Pub. Oliver and Boyd. P.51. W. F. Skene. Arthur and the Britons in Wales and Scotland: Llanerch Enterprises. Lampeter, Dyfed. 1988,ISBN 0-947992-23-5. Cumbria County History Trust: Arthuret
The Tigris is the eastern of the two great rivers that define Mesopotamia, the other being the Euphrates. The river flows south from the mountains of southeastern Turkey through Iraq and empties into the Persian Gulf; the Tigris is 1,750 km long, rising in the Taurus Mountains of eastern Turkey about 25 km southeast of the city of Elazig and about 30 km from the headwaters of the Euphrates. The river flows for 400 km through Turkish territory before becoming the border between Syria and Turkey; this stretch of 44 km is the only part of the river, located in Syria. Close to its confluence with the Euphrates, the Tigris splits into several channels. First, the artificial Shatt al-Hayy branches off. Second, the Shatt al-Muminah and Majar al-Kabir branch off to feed the Central Marshes. Further downstream, two other distributary channels branch off, which feed the Hawizeh Marshes; the main channel continues southwards and is joined by the Al-Kassarah, which drains the Hawizeh Marshes. The Tigris joins the Euphrates near al-Qurnah to form the Shatt-al-Arab.
According to Pliny and other ancient historians, the Euphrates had its outlet into the sea separate from that of the Tigris. Baghdad, the capital of Iraq, stands on the banks of the Tigris; the port city of Basra straddles the Shatt al-Arab. In ancient times, many of the great cities of Mesopotamia stood on or near the Tigris, drawing water from it to irrigate the civilization of the Sumerians. Notable Tigris-side cities included Nineveh and Seleucia, while the city of Lagash was irrigated by the Tigris via a canal dug around 2900 B. C; the Tigris has long been an important transport route in a desert country. Shallow-draft vessels can go as far as Baghdad, but rafts are needed for transport upstream to Mosul. General Francis Rawdon Chesney hauled two steamers overland through Syria in 1836 to explore the possibility of an overland and river route to India. One steamer, the Tigris, was wrecked in a storm which killed twenty. Chesney proved the river navigable to powered craft; the Euphrates and Tigris Steam Navigation Company was established in 1861 by the Lynch Brothers trading company.
They had 2 steamers in service. By 1908 ten steamers were on the river. Tourists boarded steam yachts to venture inland as this was the first age of archaeological tourism, the sites of Ur and Ctesiphon became popular with European travelers. In the First World War, during the British conquest of Ottoman Mesopotamia and Thames River paddlers were used to supply General Townsend's Army. See Siege of Kut and the Fall of Baghdad; the Tigris Flotilla included vessels Clio, Lawrence, armed tug Comet, armed launches Lewis Pelly, Shaitan and sternwheelers Muzaffari/Muzaffar. These were joined by Royal Navy Fly-class gunboats Butterfly, Dragonfly, Sawfly and Mantis, Tarantula. After the war, river trade declined in importance during the 20th century as the Basra-Baghdad-Mosul railway, an unfinished portion of the Baghdad Railway, was completed and roads took over much of the freight traffic; the Ancient Greek form Tigris meaning "tiger" was adapted from Old Persian Tigrā, itself from Elamite Tigra, itself from Sumerian Idigna.
The original Sumerian Idigna or Idigina was from *id gina "running water", which can be interpreted as "the swift river", contrasted to its neighbour, the Euphrates, whose leisurely pace caused it to deposit more silt and build up a higher bed than the Tigris. The Sumerian form was borrowed into Akkadian as Idiqlat, from there into the other Semitic languages. Another name for the Tigris used in Middle Persian was Arvand Rud "swift river". Today, Arvand Rud refers to the confluence of the Euphrates and Tigris rivers. In Kurdish, it is known as Ava Mezin, "the Great Water"; the name of the Tigris in languages that have been important in the region: The Tigris is dammed in Iraq and Turkey to provide water for irrigating the arid and semi-desert regions bordering the river valley. Damming has been important for averting floods in Iraq, to which the Tigris has been notoriously prone following April melting of snow in the Turkish mountains. Recent Turkish damming of the river has been the subject of some controversy, for both its environmental effects within Turkey and its potential to reduce the flow of water downstream.
Mosul Dam is the largest dam in Iraq. Water from both rivers is used as a means of pressure during conflicts. In 2014 a major breakthrough in developing consensus between multiple stakeholder representatives of Iraq and Turkey on a Plan of Action for promoting exchange and calibration of data and standards pertaining to Tigris river flows was achieved; the consensus, referred to as the "Geneva Consensus On Tigris River" was reached at a meeting organized in Geneva by the think tank Strategic Foresight Group. In February 2016, the United States Embassy in Iraq as well as the Prime Minister of Iraq Haider al-Abadi issued warnings that Mosul Dam could collapse; the United States warned people to evacuate the floodplain of the Tigris because between 500,000 and 1.5 million people were at risk of drowning due to flash flood if the dam collapses, that the major Iraqi cities of Mosul, Tikrit and Baghdad were at risk. In Sumerian mythology, the Ti
Magnae Magnae Carvetiorum, was a Roman fort on Hadrian's Wall in northern Britain. Its ruins are now known as Carvoran Roman Fort and are located near Carvoran, Northumberland, in northern England, it is thought to have been sited with reference to the Stanegate Roman road, before the building of Hadrian's Wall, to which it is not physically attached. In fact the Vallum ditch unusually goes north of the fort; the fort is now the site of the Roman Army Museum. The fort at Carvoran is identified with the "Magnis" which appears both in the Ravenna Cosmography and the Notitia Dignitatum. Further evidence for the name comes from a fragmentary inscription seen by William Hutchinson in 1766 but, now lost, which referred to "numerus Magne<c>es". The name could be a Latin nominative form Magni, or Magna, the fort is today sometimes referred to under the name "Magna"; the name is rather inappropriate for a small fort, one suggestion is that it could derive from the Celtic word maen meaning "stone" or "rock".
Magnae was built to guard the junction of the Maiden Way with the Stanegate, the key supply route linking Coria in the east to Luguvalium in the west. As such it predates Hadrian's Wall, its ruins are located at Carvoran in the civil parish of Greenhead in the English county of Northumberland. Magnae is one of 16 Roman forts along Hadrian's Wall; the Maiden Way ran south from Magnae to Bravoniacum. An intermediate fort half-way between the two on the Maiden Way was Whitley Castle or Epiacum, just north of Alston in Cumbria, though the fort itself is just over the county boundary in Northumberland. Artifacts recovered at Magnae include a 2-foot-long iron spearhead, found at a depth of 36 feet in a well, the well-known modius, a bronze grain-measure. Magnae is the location of the Roman Army Museum run by the Vindolanda Trust. Like the museum at Vindolanda, the Roman Army Museum was modernised and reopened in 2011; the museum illustrates frontier life on the northern edge of the Roman Empire. The museum displays genuine Roman artifacts including tools.
There is a gallery devoted to the emperor Hadrian himself. A large gallery describes daily life in the Roman army as seen through the eyes of a team of eight auxiliary soldiers, complete with a film showing their activities. Notable exhibits include a rare surviving helmet crest. Birley, Robin; the Fort at the Rock: On Hadrian's Wall: Magna and Carvoran. Vindolanda Trust. ISBN 1873136560. "Magnis Carvetiorum" at Roman Britain Online "Hadrian's Wall: Carovoran Fort" at North of the Tyne
Vindolanda was a Roman auxiliary fort just south of Hadrian's Wall in northern England, which it pre-dated. Archaeological excavations of the site show it was under Roman occupation from 85 AD to 370 AD. Located near the modern village of Bardon Mill in Northumberland, it guarded the Stanegate, the Roman road from the River Tyne to the Solway Firth, it is noted for the Vindolanda tablets, a set of wooden leaf-tablets that were, at the time of their discovery, the oldest surviving handwritten documents in Britain. The first post-Roman record of the ruins at Vindolanda was made by the antiquarian William Camden, in his Britannia. Occasional travellers reached the site over the next two hundred years, the accounts they left predate much of the stone-stealing that has damaged the site; the military bath-house was still roofed when Christopher Hunter visited the site in 1702. In about 1715 an excise officer named John Warburton found an altar there. In 1814 the first real archaeological work was begun, by the Rev. Anthony Hedley.
Hedley died before writing up his discoveries. Little more was done for a long time, although in 1914 a workman found another altar at the site, set up by the civilians living at the fort in honour of the Divine House and Vulcan. Several names for the site are used in the early records, including "Chesters on Caudley", "Little Chesters", "The Bower", "Chesterholm"; the garrison consisted of cavalry auxilia, not components of Roman legions. From the early third century onwards, this was the Cohors IV Gallorum equitata known as the Fourth Cohort of Gauls, it had been presumed that this title was, by this time, purely nominal, with auxiliary troops being recruited locally, but an inscription found in a recent season of excavations suggests that native Gauls were still to be found in the regiment and that they liked to distinguish themselves from British soldiers. The inscription reads: CIVES GALLI DE GALLIAE CONCORDES QUE BRITANNI A translation of this is "The troops from Gaul dedicate this statue to the goddess Gallia with the full support of the British-born troops".
The earliest Roman forts at Vindolanda were built of turf. The remains are now buried as much as 4 metres deep in the anoxic waterlogged soil. There are five timber forts, built one after the other; the first, a small fort, was built by the 1st Cohort of Tungrians about 85 AD. By about 95 AD this was replaced by a larger wooden fort built by the 9th Cohort of Batavians, a mixed infantry-cavalry unit of about 1000 men; that fort was repaired in about 100 AD under the command of the Roman prefect Flavius Cerialis. When the 9th Cohort of Batavians left in 105 AD, their fort was demolished; the 1st Cohort of Tungrians returned to Vindolanda, built a larger wooden fort, remained here until Hadrian's Wall was built around 122 AD, when they moved, most to Vercovicium. Soon after Hadrian's Wall was built, most of its men were moved north to the Antonine Wall. A stone fort was built at Vindolanda for the 2nd Cohort of Nervians. From 208 to 211 AD, there was a major rebellion against Rome in Britain, the Emperor Septimius Severus led an army to Britain to cope with it personally.
The old stone fort was demolished, replaced by an unconventional set of army buildings on the west, an unusual array of many round stone huts where the old fort had been. Some of these circular huts are visible by the north and the southwest walls of the final stone fort; the Roman army may have built these to accommodate families of British farmers in this unsettled period. Septimius Severus died at York in 211 AD; the stone buildings were demolished, a large new stone fort was built where the huts had been, for the 4th Cohort of Gauls. A vicus, a self-governing village, developed to the west of the fort; the vicus contains several rows of each containing several one-room chambers. Most are not connected to the existing drainage system; the one that does was a butchery where, for health reasons, an efficient drain would have been important. A stone altar found in 1914 proves that the settlement was a vicus, that it was named Vindolanda. To the south of the fort is a thermae, that would have been used by many of the individuals on the site.
The stone fort, the adjoining village, remained in use until about 285 AD, when it was abandoned for unknown reasons. About 300, the fort was again rebuilt, but the vicus was not reoccupied, so most the area remained too unsafe for life outside the defended walls of the fort. In about 370, the fort was repaired by irregular soldiers. There is no evidence for the traditional view that Roman occupation ended in 410. In the 1930s, the house at Chesterholm where the museum is now located was purchased by archaeologist Eric Birley, interested in excavating the site; the excavations have been continued by his sons and Anthony, his grandson, Andrew Birley, into the present day. They are undertaken each summer, some of the archaeological deposits reach depths of six metres; the anoxic conditions at these depths have preserved thousands of artefacts, such as wooden writing tablets and over 160 boxwood combs, that disintegrate in the ground, thus providing an opportunity to gain a fuller understanding of Roman life – military and otherwise – on the northern frontier.
A study of spindle whorls from t