What thrills me more when visiting museums exihibiting pieces coming from the Roman Empire times are the everyday objects.
For instance that beautiful woman’s slipper, belonging probably to the wife of the prefect of Vindolanda’s camp.
How many nights the commander of the fort held this cup in his hands while yearning for the sun of his native land during the cold northern winter nights?
And how dissapointed his wife was when opening the wooden boxes containing this pottery service from Gaul that arrived to destination broken to pieces?
Who combed their hair with these?
How many wounds were healed with these surgical instruments?
The particular chemical composition of Vindolanda’s soil, very poor in oxigen, has allowed the conservation of objects in leather and wood. I am sorry that the picture does not render the idea, but the leather bag above has a very modern design and is quite functional. You can see also an absolute up-to-date backpack below.
Maybe one of the Vindolanda letters were written with one of these. You can read them here
For instance, the famous letter of Claudia Severa to Sulpicia Lepidina
“Claudia Severa to her Lepidina greetings. On 11 September, sister, for the day of the celebration of my birthday, I give you a warm invitation to make sure that you come to us, to make the day more enjoyable for me by your arrival, if you are present (?). Give my greetings to your Cerialis. My Aelius and my little son send him (?) their greetings. (2nd hand) I shall expect you, sister. Farewell, sister, my dearest soul, as I hope to prosper, and hail. (Back, 1st hand) To Sulpicia Lepidina, wife of Cerialis, from Severa.”