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XII. Conclusion

It is difficult to draw conclusions about Tesoro 56 at the end of the 2009 season. Excavation was made more confusing by the presence of modern backfill (indicated by barbed wire, plastic tarp, a shot gun shell, a nail polish bottle, and a void) from earlier trenches, which leads to the first definite conclusion about Tesoro 56. Over half of the trench as excavated was composed of modern backfill, most likely from two different trenches. The lack of archival evidence and a central grid plan during the early years of excavation at Poggio Civitate makes it very difficult to figure just which old trenches Tesoro 56 overlies. What seems likely is that the backfill in most of the south of the trench comes from Tesoro 15 and that in the east baulk wall probably comes from one of the Tesoro 6 trenches. All in all, it is almost certain that Locus 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 9, and 10 are entirely composed of modern backfill, and the southern halves of Locus 4 and 11 are as well. The presence of clear plastic tarp in the SE corner may indicate that excavation has removed all of the backfill, but a void with air pockets beneath it found on Thursday, 30 July probably indicates that the rocks and backfill (and

possibly barbed wire) continue on the eastern part of the southern half of the trench.

Despite the large amounts of backfill, some undisturbed soil in Tesoro 56 was excavated. The soil adjoining the north baulk, the north half of the east baulk, and the northernmost ca. 1 meter of the west baulk all appears archaeologically secure and undisturbed. The presence of relatively large amounts of ceramic and tile in Locus 4, 6, 12, and 15 all support this, as do the various finds uncovered in that part of the trench, such as the two frieze plaque fragments ( 20090068 and 20090082

), the feline water spout ( 20090241
), the full profile impasto vessel 20090282, and the gaming die 20090248 . None of these are typical of backfill.

Since the northernmost meter and some of the soil adjoining the east baulk was undisturbed, it was possible to obtain a stratigraphic section of the area south of OC3-Tripartite and of the southern Archaic courtyard. Both the north and the northern half of the east baulk preserve the section. The stratigraphy is fairly level and preserves no slope. With the possible exception of Locus 7, there are no ancient

disruptions of the stratigraphy, and the Archaic channel which obliterated Orientalizing layers in SF-3 and SF-4 (see EC-VII and AMA/DB-I ) does not appear to move through Tesoro 56. Excavation did not reach either a burn layer or the floor, and still appeared to be in the post-Orientalizing scrape. The dark, mottled soil of Locus 15 and its finds (the full profiled impasto vessel, the gaming die, and the incised rocchetto) support this. Further excavation in future seasons could very well reveal more of the stratigraphy, the Orientalizing surface, and possibly any earlier levels of habitations.

In conclusion, the 2009 season in Tesoro 56 can at least be considered a partial success. While no insight was obtained on the nature of the Orientalizing surface, or of the manner of activity that occurred in the area south of OC3-Tripartite, a secure stratigraphic section of the north baulk was obtained. Continued excavation in Tesoro 56, beneath Locus 15 and possibly under the backfill in the southern half, could very well answer and quite possibly continue to raise more questions

on this very enigmatic area of Poggio Civitate.

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Suggested Citation

Joseph R. Vansuch. "JRV II (2009-08-08):273-279; Conclusion from Italy/Poggio Civitate/Tesoro/Tesoro 56/2009, ID:616". (2017) In Murlo. Anthony Tuck (Ed.) . Released: 2017-10-04. Open Context. <>

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