, has won Current Archaeology magazine's prestigious Research Project of the Year award.
Earthwatch has funded the research, carried out by Tyne and Wear Museums, the recipients of the award, since 1993. Earthwatch's support of the excavations at Arbeia
also received the Sponsorship Award in the British Archaeological Awards in 2004.
To date the most important developments resulting from Earthwatch funding have been the recognition of an early granary and timber buildings dating to around AD 120-40, and the discovery of fragments of reused masonry in the foundation of the fort established around AD 160, implying stone defences or buildings of earlier date. An inscription found by Earthwatch volunteers in 2006 has now been deciphered and records building work on the first known fort. The inscription is on a building stone and translated from the Latin means: "The century of Lucius Octavus built this."
, a Roman garrison and harbour, was one of the busiest supply depots in the northern Roman Empire. The archaeology of the site spans four centuries and incorporates pre-Roman Iron Age remains, as well as several phases of Roman construction work. The Roman fort is a Scheduled Ancient Monument and part of the UNESCO Hadrian's Wall World Heritage Site. The World Heritage Site requires careful conservation and management to ensure that as a cultural resource it will be available for future generations. The Roman Fort on Tyne
project, the most extensive sustained excavation of the interior of a Roman fort in Britain, aims to provide a more secure basis of knowledge which can inform future plans for the management and conservation of the fort and the rest of the World Heritage Site.
In 2009, Earthwatch volunteers are helping archaeologists to excavate a trench outside the south west fort wall to record further indication of pre-Roman Iron Age settlement and agriculture. Excavation will also take place to recover evidence for the end of pre-Roman settlement and the beginning of the Roman occupation, as well as evidence of the extent and survival of the civilian settlement which may lie immediately beyond the defensive envelope of the fort ditches.
Find out more about the Roman Fort on Tyne