Fire Ball

This art sculpture in the form of a ‘fire ball’ pays tribute to the work of archaeologist Robin Birley, who directed the Vindolanda Trust and excavations from 1970-2001, and to celebrate his incredible find, in 1992, of over 350 Roman ink on wood writing tablets (letters) on a Roman bonfire site here at Vindolanda

The Roman cohort of the 9th Batavians had been burning their commanding officer’s correspondence before they left Vindolanda in AD 105. The bonfire had been lit but abandoned after a rain shower meaning that most of the tablets were singed but otherwise survived to illuminate our understanding of life on the Roman frontier.

The fire ball was designed and created for the Vindolanda Trust by Andy Gage and depicts cursive Roman writing from the tablets. The fire ball will be ceremoniously lit every year to commemorate the discovery of what is considered ‘Britain’s Top Treasure’.*

Replica Roman Temple

In the background is a replica of a Roman temple.

*From a signboard next to the sculpture

10 Comments CherryPie on Oct 6th 2016

10 Responses to “Fire Ball”

  1. ....peter:) says:

    goodness gracious great balls of fire!!…
    a song from back in the sixties Cherie…
    i really enjoyed your description of how Robin Birley created this sculpture was wonderful… thank you….peter:)

  2. Ginnie says:

    WOW! What a find that must have been! I love stories like this, Cherry.

  3. lisl says:

    What an appropriate commemoration, Cherie. How odd – today I have Earth Balls on Shutterchance!

    • CherryPie says:

      It interesting that we both had posts on different types of balls. I think it is what I refer to as one of my ’strange coincidences’ :-)

  4. Wendy says:

    I have enjoyed these posts about Vindolanda with your lovely photos. You’ve reminded me that I must organise a holiday to this area soon. There’s so much to see with so much history. The tablets were a wonderful find and the fire ball sculpture to mark this looks terrific.

  5. Brickwork to the temple looks a bit too new to me!? ;)