17 rules of celestial dating - Vindolanda and the dating of roman footwear

The shoe hoard also gives an indication of fashion and affluence of the occupants in AD 212 with some very stylish and well-made shoes, both adults and children’s, a fact which has captured the imagination of football fans with one child’s shoe in particular being likened to a modern Adidas Predator boot.

vindolanda and the dating of roman footwear-61

Vindolanda and the dating of roman footwear

1,800 years ago the Roman army built one of its smallest but most heavily defended forts at the site of Vindolanda, which is now a part of the Frontiers of The Roman Empire World Heritage Site.

The small garrison of a few hundred soldiers and their families took shelter behind a series of large ditches and ramparts, while outside the walls a war was raging between the northern British Tribes and Roman forces.

In periods when other Wall forts were abandoned, such as in the AD 140’s-160’s, Vindolanda was maintained, its strategic position regarded as a vital part of the frontier system.

What was life like for a Roman soldier stuck in a garrison in an exposed part of the north east?

Baby boots, small children’s shoes, teenagers, ladies and men’s boots, bath clogs, both indoor and outdoor shoes.

What has been uncovered conceivably represents more than one shoe for every person who lived inside the fort at Vindolanda at that time.

It is one of the great assets of Vindolanda’s Designated collection that many of the artefacts are everyday items, things that we can directly connect with, it is the fact that they are so well preserved and almost 2000 years old which is simply extraordinary’.

The shoes are now being conserved on site with a specifically re-adapted building to cope with the quantity of finds.

Once the war was over (c AD 212) the troops and their dependants pulled out of the fort, and anything that they could not carry with them on the march was tossed into the defensive ditches.

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