The Roman army appears to have occupied the site of Vindolanda around AD 85, after the Governor, Agricola, had brought the northern tribes to bay at the battle of Mons Graupius. The Romans called the place 'Vindolanda', as many documents and an inscription confirm, perhaps because they were turning into Latin an existing native name, thought to mean 'white lawns' or something similar. The fort guarded the central section of the vital east to west supply route, known now as the Stanegate, and when the Wall was built some 40 year later, Vindolanda took its place between Housesteads and Great Chesters as a Wall fort. The early forts were built in timber, and required replacement every seven to eight years, even if there was no change in garrison, and the fifth such fort was constructed early in Hadrian's reign.
By adrbr @ 2010-04-11 07:55:49