An on-going excavation at a Roman fort along Hadrian’s Wall is beginning to reveal more of its secrets.

The latest finds at Birdoswald Roman Fort include portable altars, fine tableware from Gaul (modern day France) and Germany, amphorae (large storage jars) from southern Spain, and gaming counters.

Already, the excavation has provided clues to how life in the nearby settlement outside the Wall relate to the community inside the fort including housing, possible workshops and a major building that may be related to the fort’s bathhouse.

Historic England Senior Archaeologist and project co-director, Tony Wilmott, said: “The whole team is upbeat about what we’ve already achieved since the start of the excavation in June.

“We’ve found the archaeology much better preserved and deeper than we imagined.”

Newcastle University and Historic England’s Archaeological Projects team are co-directing the excavation, facilitated by English Heritage.

Professor of Archaeology at Newcastle University and project co-director, Ian Haynes, said: “The project is amply fulfilling all our hopes for it, advancing research that helps us to understand this magnificent site, and how to care for it, while building an incredibly fruitful knowledge exchange partnership.

“Working with Historic England’s Archaeological Projects team is a fanastic opportunity for our specialists and students alike. We believe that such collaborations offer a great way forward for skill buildng across the Heritage sector.”

Excavators were also paid a visit by Penrith and Borders MP, Dr Neil Hudson.  Dr Hudson said:"I was delighted by the progress made with the excavations which will help shape our understanding of Birdoswald Fort and the whole World Heritage Site.

"It was great to chat with the next generation of students who are benefitting from a wonderful opportunity to develop their skills using the latest techniques.

"When you consider that only a tiny fraction of the Wall has ever been excavated, there’s massive potential for archaeologists to continue to unearth exciting new discoveries about one of the most important ancient tourism attractions in the country, with benefits for our vital local visitor economy as we recover from the pandemic.”

In June, Historic England, Newcastle University and English Heritage launched a major new archaeological excavation at the site of Birdoswald Roman Fort in Cumbria, on Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage Site.

Visitors to the English Heritage’s Birdoswald Roman Fort can view the ongoing excavation until 5th August as part of a guided tour. Tours are included in the price of entry, and must be booked in advance.

English Heritage Head of Historic Properties North, Lynn Rylance, said: “The last year has been a very challenging time for English Heritage but these excavations have provided a lift for everyone connected with the site.

“The archaeologists and the students have been very generous with their time, sharing their progress with visitors through regular tours.

“We are all looking forward to following the progress over the coming years and learning more about the area surrounding Birdoswald.”The site The project is due to finish in 2026.