Monday, 29 June 2015


Only a “simple” day trip

Sometimes in life, the best thing to do when you’re stuck on a problem (or in my case, assignment) is to leave it for a bit and come back to it a while after. Although it’s tempting to drill at the presently unsolvable question until an answer can be obtained, life has taught me that this is, to an extent, ineffective. It’s better to have a break and allow your mind to relax so that you can return with fresh ideas and clear thoughts. For many, a pause from work may mean resorting to the comforts of one bedroom, or even a quick chat with friends and family (be it online or via the telephone). In my case, there’s only one option: travel.

The four mighty pillars
Two heads on a vase
The graceful statuette
I’m sure you’ve realized by now through reading my blog posts that North East England is full of wonderful and hidden treasures. Just to name a few: Bamburgh Castle, Yarm, Tynemouth etc. All of these places have a unique and long history. Some have been well preserved in writing, while others have been retained through specific landmarks. On this very occasion, I decided to visit Vindolanda, a Roman auxiliary fort.

A bi-cultural background

Approaching the excavation arena

As someone who studied anthropology at higher education level, culture is topic that consistently arose through speech, lectures and articles. It’s a curious concept that, if we take the simplest understanding, can be perceived as the collective term used to group specific norms, beliefs, and practices associated with a particular community. There are some controversies regarding this statement, but I for one think that this is the best criteria to represent this highly complicated idea. At the Roman Vindolanda, the name immediately gives away the sort of cultural traits that you’d expect to see. Perhaps the slightly less obvious side is that this magnificent site is set against a very British countryside.

That, in my opinion, is why there is a “bi-cultural” background.

The bold eagle
But that’s not the end of the story, oh no. The blend of cultures is embraced warmly by the remainder of Hadrian’s Wall (which was originally a 122 AD northern defensive fortification established by the Roman Emperor Hadrian). Furthermore, the Vindolanda simultaneously encompasses an impressive archaeological excavation arena (if you fancy getting your hands a bit messy for a chance at discovering hidden treasures, book yourself a place online immediately). Standing firmly on the hilly landscape, I felt myself breathing in the scent of power and battle reaching back many centuries, and gazing at the minutely threaded series of historical events the site presented. It was an unforgettable moment.

Pottery and trinkets of time and history

I came back home feeling very satisfied and ready to pounce on the assignment that had troubled me much earlier.

Ending remark

So if you’re ever in need for a bit of fresh air, the Roman Vindolanda is a must-visit spectacle.

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