Tyne & Wear

Injured soldiers help with dig at Roman fort Vindolanda

Aerial view of remains Image copyright Vindolanda
Image caption Ten recovering military personnel will take part in the dig at Vindolanda

Injured military personnel are being deployed to a Northumberland Roman fort to help with the excavations.

Ten recovering personnel will spend two weeks digging with archaeologists at Vindolanda.

They will be excavating the late 4th Century barrack block in the south east corner of the fort near where a rare gold coin of Nero was previously found.

Their placement at the fort on Hadrian's Wall has been arranged by the Defence Archaeology Group (DAG).

Dr Andrew Birley, director of excavations at Vindolanda said the military personnel sustained physical and mental injuries while serving in places such as Afghanistan.

Image copyright Vindolanda
Image caption The dig will last about two weeks, organiser said

He said: "There will be challenges, we are aware that one gentleman has no upper limbs and another is registered blind but support is in place to ensure all participants can gain as much as possible from the experience."

Sgt Diarmaid Walshe, project manager of DAG, said: "Our programme uses archaeology as a pathway to their recovery, giving individuals something useful and rewarding to do which in turn can help them rebuild their self-esteem."

The fort will also be free to enter for all military personnel during the two-week dig, which starts on Monday.

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