Sunday, November 06, 2005

When in Roman Britain…

About a week ago, Tara got an email requesting volunteers to go out to the Segedunum Roman Fort, to help them celebrate National Lottery Day, and thank the Lottery for donating the funds required to improve the museum at the Segedunum site.

The purpose of the event was to take a photograph of the volunteers standing in the buildings on the site, right where the Romans themselves would have been. So of course, being the ever helpful Canadians that we are, we signed up right away.

This is what the site looks like from above (excuse the reflections on the glass):
And here’s a view of the museum and viewing tower, with one of the cavalry barracks in the foreground (the squares on the right – with the stone troughs in the ground – are where the horses lived, the cavalry men lived next to them, in the rooms on the right):
Pretty glamorous, eh? Excuse my naiveté, but I think I was actually expecting them to dress us in vaguely-Roman looking costumes, and have us stand among reconstructed buildings on the site, sort of like in a very bad Hollywood movie or something.

This is what we actually did for the photos:
Stood ‘inside’ the walls of the buildings, and looked up at the museum’s viewing tower, where the Photographer had set up his camera. The only person who looked even vaguely Roman was this guy:

Despite the change in plans from what I expected, it was still a fun thing to do. We got free tea and cookies after the photos, as well as free admission to the museum and viewing tower. So it was a pretty good way to spend a morning, all things considered.

But I have to admit, as non-archaeologically sound as it ends up being, I’m kind of partial to the sites where they have either left most of the original stonework exposed, or else rebuilt some of the structures, to give you an idea of how it would have looked (I have a bad imagination, what can I say?). Several years ago, I dug at the Lunt Roman Fort in Coventry; most of the buildings there were just plans on the ground, similar to Segedunum, but they had also reconstructed the front walls, and the granary (it is used as the site's museum). Even though we were only digging up a section of defense trench at the back of the fort, the presence of those buildings made it feel more like a real Roman Fort. But that’s just me. I’m sure my friends in archaeology would kill me if they knew I thought this!

In addition to gallivanting around the historical sites of Newcastle, I have also been hard at work on my knitting. I finally went out and bought the wool I needed to make my Peaceful Palms gloves – Rowan Yorkshire tweed 4-ply, in a mossy green, and a dark teal that complements the paler teal flecks in the green. I’m really excited about how these fingerless gloves are going to look, even though this is all that I’ve managed to knit of them:

I’m trying to design my own pattern for these gloves, although I must admit that I am relying fairly heavily on the Opera Gloves pattern from Borealis Sweaterscapes. I like the tapered arm to these gloves, although I am only going to make them about 5.5 inches long, instead of the 11 inches described in the pattern. I'm also going to make them fingerless gloves, but whether or not they will be thumbless also still remains a myster. And of course the real mystery is going to be whether or not I can recreate the first glove, so as to actually create a proper pair!

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