Vindolanda Tablets Online Tablets Exhibition Reference Help

About this Exhibition

Vindolanda and its setting


Forts and military life



Reading the tablets

about this exhibition


The exhibition draws on texts of tablets published in volumes I and II. Volume III will publish tablets that contain significant new information on many of the exhibition themes.

The exhibition also uses archaeological evidence from the excavations of the 1970s and 1980s at Vindolanda, but it is not intended as a general introduction to the archaeological site. The tablets derive from a restricted area of the fort and from occupation layers dating to only a few decades in the late first and early second centuries AD. Archaeologists at Vindolanda have however explored many other areas of the fort, revealing occupation layers dating from the late first to fifth centuries AD, which are not explored here. More information can be found in numerous publications. The understanding of Vindolanda’s development continues to develop as excavations progress and up-to-date information may be found on the Vindolanda Trust website.

The exhibition also draws on other archaeological and historical information from Britain’s northern frontier and elsewhere to illustrate the context and content of the tablets. For more information on the topics of the exhibition, both online and in print, please follow ‘Links’.


For full acknowledgements for the site please see ‘about this site’. We are particularly grateful to Robin Birley and the Vindolanda Trust for their assistance with the exhibition, in particular for providing images of the site and of artefacts. The site at Vindolanda is one of the best preserved and most extensively displayed on Britain’s northern frontier and is open all year round. A large on-site museum also displays finds from the excavations.

We thank also the other institutions which have supplied images for the exhibition. Many of the images are taken from other sites and museums on the northern frontier which can also be visited, including Wallsend - 'Segedunum', The Museum of Antiquities, Newcastle University, Brigantium Archaeological Reconstruction Park, High Rochester, the National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh and the Grosvenor Museum, Chester.

The tablets themselves are stored in the British Museum and some are displayed in the Weston and Greek and Roman Galleries. Other museums and bodies which have made images available include the Ancient World Mapping Center, the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, the Portable Antiquities Scheme, V Cohors Gallorum, Verulamium Museum and Vroma.

Top of page