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Vindolanda writing tablets.

 These precious tablets have been voted the most precious treasure in the British Museum. They offer a direct path back to what the Romans were thinking and talking about , nearly 2000 years ago.

Back when the fort was occupied everytime there was a need to rebuild the buildings  the soldiers had flattened the site covering it with a thick layer of clay or turf. Basically the surface became sealed under anaerobic conditions. With the absence of oxygen any organic matter remained preserved.Wood and leather being good examples. Amongst the remains were slivers of wood with thin writing on them. However when exposed to air the wood shavings turned black and the writing vanished. Fortunately infra red photography combined with expertise gained from reading papyrus scrolls helped to show the writings.

The best way to read these tablets is by visiting this website.