With Hadrian’s Wall completed, a stone fort was constructed at Vindolanda. And when the Britons began rebelling against Rome, the outpost was fortified even further. Indeed, over the years the structure grew to encompass a complex of army buildings. It also featured stone huts thought to house villagers during tumultuous times.
But as the power of the Roman Empire began to wane, Vindolanda was abandoned. Then, more than 1,500 years later, an archaeologist named Eric Birley bought the land on which the Roman fort had once stood. Birley was fascinated by the history of Hadrian’s Wall and soon began excavating the site.
Since then, the Birley family has spent each summer at Vindolanda, searching for relics from ancient times. To date, thousands of artifacts have been retrieved from depths of up to 20 feet. What’s more, because of the lack of oxygen that far into the earth, the relics are incredibly well preserved.