The Corstopitum excavations on the Roman site at Corbridge ran from 1906 to 1914. These 'diggings' were one of the first training excavations to be run in the UK, although in the Edwardian period most of the manual labour was done by miners and agricultural labourers, so it tended only to be the supervisors (mostly from Oxford) who were being trained!

In the period up to his death in 1912, J.P. Gibson, the renowned Hexham pharmacist who was also an amateur archaeologist and prize-winning photographer, recorded the excavations photographically. He mainly produced glass-plate negatives, but there are also lantern slides in existence and some of his photographs were produced as postcards, which were sold to boost excavation funds.

After Gibson's death, the photography was taken over by Robert Forster and whilst nearly all of Gibson's glass plate negatives for the published photos still exist, none of Forster's do, although there are some contact prints to be found.

The sequence of photos here was mainly published in pre-First World War volumes of Archaeologia Aeliana. Whilst it is a fairly simple matter to remove the screening with a hint of gaussian blur, the diamond-shaped patterning on the surface of the paper (presumably an artefact of the printing process) is harder to deal with.

A Google Earth tour of these photos in their context is available (select the Corstopitum folder and click on the play tour button; it will work best if you allow a pause of about 5 seconds in Tools->Options->Touring).

More information about the early excavations can be found at the home of The CORIA Project
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