Exploring, Discovering, Learning

I want to make the Past, both History and Prehistory, more exciting, relevant and 'hands-on'. It's a fun place with some great stories, I want to share these with everyone.
I work with schools, museums, community groups, either at their place or outdoors in the Landscape.
I develop and deliver projects. I create resources. Exploring the Past and our shared heritage, bridging the divide and Discovering the links between these artefacts, sites or museum and Us. I try to put objects back in context, helping people Learn about the past. I use objects, both orginal and replica, costume, crafts and role play, in other words - Living History.

I'm a member of a small group of like-minded people - The Deja Crew

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Roman Style Signalling at Segedunum

Evocatus - Victor the Veteran
As part of Segedunum's celebration of  Connecting Light Victor the Veteran demonstrated how the Roman passed messages along Hadrian's Wall - or at least that's what the publicity blurb at Segedunum stated!
The day was a little quiet, being the last weekend of the Summer Holidays, but we still had fun.
How we did it
There's a good book by David Wooliscroft (see below), which looks at signalling from an archaeologist's point of view and relates it to the remains on Hadrian's Wall.  However we needed something children could make work across the fort

The Flags are  dipped rather than raised

Using 2 sets of 3 flags, rather than the banks of 5 usually used in the reconstructions and by adapting a code Julius Arfricanus in the 3rd Century.  If all the flags are raised and the message sent by dipping a flag, it makes it easy to spot which flag is moving.

By changing the alphabet from the original Greek and dropping the 'J' and 'U' gives 24 letters.  All the receivers need to do is to count the number of time a flag dips and use the grid to note the letter.  With practice we could send a letter every few seconds.  The flags are just large enough to be obvious over 100m or so, but to be visible over longer distances, they would have to be much bigger and further apart.

Some of the 'Connecting Light' balloons were being stored in the bathhouse - that led to a couple of surreal encounters...

I am NOT a NUMBER!!!!!

I am Rufus Aelius Victor and I will have my revenge...

Enough said.....

if you're interested -
David H Wooliscroft, (2001)  Roman Military Signalling,
Adam Hart-Davis, Discovering Roman Technology