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Ivory Summary

The most common material found in T23: 1979 Extentions was ivory.  for the most part, all of the ivory has two features in common.  First, most of it is burned to a very dark black [very little of the ivory is blue or white].  And second, most of the ivory has one flat, finished surface - which suggests that they were used as insets.  Aside from these two features, the ivory from T23: 1979 Extentions consists of many different shapes and sizes.  Geometric shapes are the most common; triangles [Book III, p.125: 19790153

], rectangles [Book III, p.75: 19790232
], parallelograms [Book III, p.111: 19790230
], diamonds, petals [Book III, p.89: 19790236
], cylinders [Book II, p.237: 19790206 ], half-rounds [Book III, p.69: 19790221
], and discs were all excavated.

Many of these geometric-shaped ivory insets are decorated with incision; the incision consists of

various linear patterns.  Fragments decorated with gioche patterns, checkerboards, palmettes [Book II, p.101: 19790225

], herringbone patterns [Book III, p.85: 19790227
], and meander patterns were all found.  However, though several incised linear patterns appear on these ivories, rarely are two or three fragments with the same design found.

In addition to many fragments of incised, geometric-shaped insets, T23: 1979 Extentions also produced two significant fragments of carved ivory.  One is a human head [Book III, p.1: 19790181

].  this, like the geometric-shaped ivories, has one finished surface - it is not carved in the round.  And the finished surface preserves what appears to be the markings of a tool [drill - concentric circles surrounding a hole].  For this reason, the head is thought to be an inset.  The carved surface of the head is badly pitted and worn - this could be the result of natural deterioration.  However, it is possible, taking into

account the tool markings on the other surface, that the head was never completed.  The second fragment of carved ivory is half-round in shape and decorated with a meander pattern [Book II, p.235: #203].

Although ivory was found throughout T23: 1979 Extentions, it was concentrated most heavily in the Tile Layer in meters FF-HH/13-15.  This is the same area in which bronze was most heavily concentrated.

T23: 1979 Extentions\' most significant find is a sphinx carved stag horn [Book III, p.91: 19790180

].  It is very well preserved and, with the exception of the lower parts of its four legs, it is complete.

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Suggested Citation

Matthew Caras. "MC III (1979-08-09):246-253; Ivory Summary from Italy/Poggio Civitate/Tesoro/Tesoro 23 Extension/1980, ID:391". (2017) In Murlo. Anthony Tuck (Ed.) . Released: 2017-10-04. Open Context. <>

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