What was life like for a Roman soldier stuck in a garrison in an exposed part of the north east?The discovery of the Vindolanda tablets in a waterlogged rubbish heap means that we can make some surprisingly well informed guesses.In about 1715 an excise officer named John Warburton found an altar there, which he removed.In 1814 the first real archaeological work was begun, by the Rev. Hedley died in 1835, before writing up his discoveries.was a Roman auxiliary fort (castrum) just south of Hadrian's Wall, which it predates, in northern England.Located near the modern village of Bardon Mill, it guarded the Stanegate, the Roman road from the River Tyne to the Solway Firth.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.
The texts of 752 tablets had been transcribed, translated and published as of 2010.
No other Roman site in Britain is as rich in its findings.
Everything on display in the museum was found from the Roman site only yards away.
Occasional travellers reached the site over the next two hundred years, and the accounts they left are useful because they predate much of the stone-stealing that has damaged the site.
The military bath-house was still partly roofed when Christopher Hunter visited the site in 1702.