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Final Summaries


1. Stratigraphy

The stratigraphy encountered in this area of T26 may be summarized simply. The dark brown humus of the topsoil gives way to a lighter brown, clayey soil which contains white, orange and red grits, identified as plaster, and some carbonized material with plaster and burn material intensifying toward the bottom of the stratum, which is not the floor of the building but a thin (5-10cm) blanket of yellow material or of a loose soil, black through saturation with carbonized material, upon the floor itself; the latter sometimes seems like an extreme and not sharply definable intensification of the plaster-burn soil above. Where the floor itself is not preserved the stratigraphic "bottom" is marked by a column-base or by floor-level.

Relevant samples: from the plaster-burn soil, carbonized wood fragments (1) N85 c. 15cm above floor level, (2) N89 c. 40cm down, LRLII, p.235 # 7 ; from deposits directly upon the floor, (3) yellow material/soil, O 87; black burn soil with carbonized wood, O 88 (4); a cylinder of brown clayey soil embedded in yellow soil, N 89 (5; see LRLII, p. 237 ); a brown ball likewise embedded (6, same P. ref).

For the relationship of the yellow and black soils coating the floor, see especially LRLII, p. 111 , 161 , 227 , 231, and 237 .

For variations upon the general stratigraphic

scheme, see especially LRLII, p. 113 and LRLIII p. 15 and 33 (O-R 87-92, where floor, or floor level, is near the surface); and LRLII p. 231 , 237 (K-L 89-90).

The topsoil typically yields a fair amount of tile and plaster, the latter sometimes in large piieces and with finished surfaces.  Some of this material may be buned (E-G LRLII, p. 155 and 159 and p. 163 # 3 ).  Pottery may also occur in fair quantity, and includes post-antique sherds.  The brown plaster/burn soil on the other hand, is consistently thick with tile and plaster, as well as rocks and pithos fragments in many areas.  In most areas it is but a matrix binding together a packing of such material which continues from 15-20cm below the surface to the top of the yellow layer or to the floor itself with the intensification of burn material (see E-G LRLII, p. 111 and 123 ).  Tile fragments are often very large and sandwiched together both vertically and horizontally, but they are not large or coherently disposed enought to be considered a "fall," and the sameapplies to the plaster often wedged in among the tile but concentrated closer to the bottom of the level.  The often dense rock-packing and significant pithos content, as well as other finds and pottery, also contradict the notion of a fall.  Pottery sporadically appears in some quantity but is generally not abundant.

While the black burn soil may produce pottery, plaster and tile (E-G LRLII, p. , 113 ; LRLIII, p. 9 ), the yellow soil tends to be barren, though it can

yield an occasional sherd and also contained, it seems, 2 of the clay missiles found in O 89 (LRLII, p. 221 , 231-233 # 1-3 ).

Relevant samples: from the rock/tile concentration, (7) vitrified material or slag ( ), and in fact burned and vitrified tile, plaster and pottery are not uncommon in this stratum; (8) heavy, whitish slag (?lead?, ); from brown plaster soil, (9) two pieces of yellow matter (pigment?) vitrified at one end ( LRLII, p. 221 # 1 ) and from on the floor, (10) two pieces of vitrified material ( LRLII, p. 31 ).

2. Architecture.  The Southeast Building

This year's work completed a series of column-bases whose existence last year's work ensured and added another to the east.  The floor was found to be quite well-preserved within the rows of bases but also quite unusual in contour, sloping sharply down to form a rectangular depression in (roughly) N-P 87-90 with a gentler slope to the east.  This depression has a level bottom and is aligned more or less with the building, and it cannot be due to settling of the terrain.  The column-base in O 88 is not only lower than the others but is recessed into the floor, which may preserve the (round) contour of the column or column-base it supported ( LRLII, p. 237 ).  The "new" column-bases are well-preserved and large, though that in O-R 92 has a fragile surface.

The breach in the floor discovered last year running north-south in m-N 87 continues in O-O 87, with an east-west extension in O86, and a small rounded hiatus adjoins the column-base in O88.  In each case a break in the floor is associated with the presence of a black, rather than yellow, "blanket," and is itself full of black burn soil (LRLII, p. , 227 ).  This, together with the disposition of gaps in the floor throughout the building, suggests that the gaps reflect the fall of major beams and that the intensely black blanket takes its color from the carbonized woodwork, while the yellow material represents a fall of mud or plaster from a wall or ceiling.  The sometimes scorched surface of the floor under the burn soil ( LRLII, p. 141 ) reinforces this hypothesis.  The question of the building's Plaster and Architectural Terracottas (tile, simas, antefixes and akroteria) is bound up with that of the tile and plaster concentration of the plaster/burn soil overlying the "blankets."  The fragment of an inscribed pan-tile lying on the rows of drying covertiles in the area of U-W 70-72, shows that a certain amount of tile reached the floor, when the building collapsed, and a number of architectural terracottas were found in this area of T26 either on the floor or so close as to suggest that they fell onto or into a layer of yellow plaster or burned wood (LRLII, , , p. 223 # 3(?) - on; p. 49 # 5 , p. 117 # 1 , p. 119 # 6 , p. 121 # 7 , p. 125 # 2 , p. 161 # 1 , p. 163 # 2, p. 229 # 2 , and LRLIII, p. 35 # 3 ), the clearest instance being that of the near complete pantile in N-O 88 (LRLII, p. 217 ,

237 , and 239 # 3 ).  However, as the true tile-fall in m-N 77-81 illustrates, much, if not most, of the tile may have slid off the roof to either side.  The character of the tile concentration in this year's area might be best explained by postulating that after the building's destruction the roof debris, and any other material to the north was pushed and thrown back onto the site to restore order to the area, often disturbing the material which had remained there and adding material that had been in the area to the north.  The tile-fall in m-N 77-81 already lies in a kind of ditch, and the depression in N-P 87-90 would be an especially useful recipient of debris; indeed the rock packing is concentrated there.  Since this area may have continued to function as a dump, later material can be expected, although no material - even from the topsoil - can be clearly identified with the archaic complex (except perhaps LRLII, p. 29 # 5) consequently, the material from the plaster/burn stratum, especially the architectural material, should on the whole belong to the south-east building with the probability increasing with proximity to the floor, but only pieces from the floor or from on or in the yellow or black blankets can be attributed with great confidenct.

Tile from the plaster/burn layer was laid out in hopes of finding joins - and a more assiduous effort would no doubt produce a great many.  See supra p. 8-11 .  the following material, much from this laid-out portion was saved:

A. The near complete pantile (LRLII, p. 217 ,

237 , and 239 # 2 , inv. no      ).

B. Three fragments from the significant proportion of covertiles with tongues for insertion, LRLIII, p. 29 # 27 and 28 , to illustrate the distinctive rosy color and differences in the formation of the tongues, and LRLIII, p. 29 # 30 , to document an anomalous, coarser, orange example.

C. Another covertile "tongue" fragment vitrified across a break, LRLIII, p. 29 # 29.

D. Fragments - nearly all from pantiles - bearing inscribed letters or signs: LRLII, p. 21 # 3 ( 19850005

19850005 ), 63 # 1, 83 # 1, 85 # 2 ( 19850021
), 95 # 4, 103 # 1, 105 # 2, 125 # 4, 163 # 3, 189 # 14, # 15, 219 # 1 ( 19850066
), 229 # 4, 233 # 4, 243 # 1, 245 # 5, # 6, 249 # 14; LRLIII p. 13 # 3, 17-23 #1-15, 27 # 23, 31 # 32, 41 # 3, 51 # 5.

E.  Fragments bearing fingermarks: LRLII, p. 139 #2 , 143 #1, 145 #5 , 183 #4 , 191 #17 , 203 #24 , 213 #6 , 215 #7 , 247 #8 ; LRLIII, p. 23-25 # 16-22 .

F. Two fragments of pantiles illustrating contact with objects: LRLII, p. 27 # 2 , 37 # 1.

G. The anomalous LRLII, p. 117 # 2 , an oddly shaped fragment in a strangely refined fabric.

Fragments, including possible fragments, of lateral sima, excluding antefixes, are distributed as follows:


1. On the floor or within the 5-10cm "blanket": 3 LRLII, p. 119 # 6, 229 # 2, 235 # 10.

2. Probable grounds for association with the destruction of the building, close to the floor (5-15cm) but over "blanket" or plaster : 5.  LRLII, p. 49 #4,5 , 117 #1 , 121 #7 , 125 #2 .

3. Brown plaster/burn soil, not near floor: 6 LRLII, , , , 201 #22 , 203 #23 , 227 #1 .

4. Topsoil: None

Horizontally, by grid ~ see distribution map, LRLII, p. 5, sketch # 2 .  Some with only broad coordinates are not included.

Female-Headed Antefixes are represented by two complete specimens, including covertile: LRLII, p. 239 # 2 and LRLIII, p. 7 # 6

both were found oriented north-south, side-by-side and facing south.  The former was completely intact except for a crack to one side of the covertile.  The latter's head had come apart from the tile and was higher than the covertile, which was complete though with ancient breaks, and which was just north of the column-base in L90.  Their stratigraphic position, described in LRLII, p. 237 ( cf. 241 ) and LRLIII, p. 3 , 9 , clearly associates the pieces with the building: could

they have landed intact or partially broken, right-side-up and facing inward when the roof collapsed?  Were they rather gently set in place in the aftermath, cushioned by plaster above and below?  Were they fresh-fired and protected by a plaster fall when the building was destroyed?  I find the last possibility attractive, but the soil inside both covertiles was plaster or clay laced with burn soil.  Relevant sample: (1) soil from inside covertile LRLII, p. 239 # 2 .  See also two bags of material boxed with the representative pottery. cf. supra 51 # 7 .

One fragment is attributed to a raking sima, LRLIII, p. 35 # 3, whose position sstrongly suggests that it belongs to the building.

Seven fragments are kept as belonging to ridge-pole tiles, including: LRLII, p. 191 # 16 from rock/tile concentration LRLII, p. 223 # 4 R 90 20-40cm and one fragment from L-O 88-90, which, like the former, preserves a short edge.

Two types of akroteria are represented.  Two fragments come from floral cut-out akroteria, LRLII, p. 161 #1 , 249 # 13 ( 19850057

,      ).  The former comes from burn soil ca. 2 cm over the floor in O 89-90, thus not far from the center of the structure.  More frequent are bits of incised akroteria, LRLII, , 153 # 3 ( 19850041
), 187 #12 ( 19850049 ), 243 # 2 and LRLIII, p. 31 # 31 .  All come from plaster/burn soil and tile/rock, or tile concentrations, and none are far from the building's central axis.  One fragment seems to belong to the point of

contact between an akroterion and ridge-pole tile, .

Plaster is very common throughout the plaster/burn soil, and is especially concentrated near the bottom; this is particularly clear in K-L 86-88 ( LRLII, p. 175 ); it is also common in topsoil

1. Several great amorphous fragments were encountered in the rock/tile and tile concentrations.  Four of these are kept, including Most fragments with reed impressions disposed in an unusual way, with the "reverse" unusual in shape or whith a third finished edge have been kept (many entered as finds), and of these a good number are boxed:

2. With an unusually shaped "reverse" : 3

2 boxed: one with diagonally oriented curvature

one with slightly recessed surface

3. With reeds criss-crossing as at the meeting of two matts: 9, of which 6 have (or had) a fine, whitish coating behind.  6 boxed: including LRLII, p. , 229 # 3 .

4. With finished back and one side parallel to the reeds: 7, of which 2 have a white coat in back.  6 boxed: including LRLII, p. 149 # 4

5. With finished back and one side perpendicular to the reeds: 14, 5 with white coat.  Especially common in L 86-88 (supra)  9 boxed, many from that plaster concentration.

6. Two pieces of the fine white plaster were kept and are boxed, both from O 89-90 and very near (one 2cm) the floor.

7. With unusual dispositions of reeds, often permitting the plaster to extend out between them to a finished surface: 5.  5 boxed, including .

8. With reeds and the meeting of two curved surfaces: 4; 4 boxed, including LRLII, p. 149 #3 ; LRLIII, p. 41 # 2 ; and a burnt piece with wood grain (?) imprints from N89, topsoil.

9. With reeds and the meeting of a curved and a flat surface: 3; 3 boxed, including LRLII, p. 51 #1 .  Also, corner piece LRLII, p. 143 # 2; and one fragment (O 87 rock packing)  has an S-shaped lateral contour; another ( ) has an oblique wood impression.

The following fragments without reeds record the meeting of two or more surfaces, or bear unusual and potentially significant impressions.

10. With the meeting of the two curved surfaces or of curved and straight surfaces: 8 including LRLII, , , and ; 133 # 5, # 7 .

11. With one rounded impression : 4.  The impressions vary greatly in size.

Also, one fragment with finger-marks (O-P 86-88.  Rock/tile concentration) is boxed.

Of particular interest are three pieces with highly distinctive impressions:

LRLII, p. 251 # 15

LRLII, p. 177 # 3

LRLII, p. 177 # 4

The latter two are identified as having held two pantiles and a covertile in place.

Also, two fragments suggesting a tympanum wall, one with reed impressions:

LRLII, p. 155 # 1

LRLIII, p. 35 # 4

With the amorphous chunks (1) we box the plaster "bricks"

LRLIII, p. 37 # 5

LRLII, p. 29 # 7

and the terracotta "brick"

LRLIII, p. 35 # 2

A selections of burned and vitrified terracotta, mostly architectural is boxed to illustrate this phenomenon.  Some of this material appeared even in topsoil (E-G LRLII, p. 163 # 3 , with letter), and it recurred throughout the tile concentrations - though always a small minority, but of particular interest are those pieces found on or just over the floor:

2 fragments from the floor in O 85 and LRLII p. , 117 # 3 with a pantile rim from burn soil over and between floor in O 87 and a covertile fragment warped from below from 5cm over floor in O91.

also of interest is the large amount of burned material from around floor level in K89, E-G LRLIII, p. 31 # 33 perhaps burned plaster.  Finally fragments, all but one joining, from various points in the tile/plaster concentration, of a large pot whose base is burned and vitrified.


  • M89
  • 15-75cm
  • Terracotta Rochetto frag

3. Contents of the southeast building

3 types of worked clay were found resting on the floor.  Much of it is distinctive for its bright, pinkish color.  This material may be raw material or bi-products of coroplasty fired in the destruction of the building.

1. Fairly amorphous lumps:

A. Three come from the floor, including: LRLII, p. 47 # 2 ; LRLII, p. 235 # 6

B. A mass of interlocking lumps from stone in P86*

C. Three may come from the floor, including: LRLII, p. 235 # 8 .

D. A group of lumps comes from the floor in N89, se LRLII, p. 237

2. Flattened lumps, often with straight (sliced) edge.

A. Nine specimens come from the floor, including ; LRLII, p. 109 # 1 ; LRLII p. 110 # 4 , 223 # 2 ; LRLII, p. 233 # 5

B. One box of such fragments, which may have come from the floor, together with one entered piece ( LRLII, p. 225 # 5 ), were found in the same area as p. 223 # 2 (supra). See LRLII, p. 221 .

3. Two pieces from the floor in O89 and in P90 ( LRLII, p. 239 # 1 ) give the impression that they were sliced from objects prior to firing, perhaps architectural terracottas.

*Remainder was removed between 1 and 2 VII 85.

Other objects from the floor: stamped bucchero sherd ( LRLII, p. 35 # 3 , 19850008

19850008 ) "punzone" ( LRLII, p. 47 # 1 19850006
) impasto finial ( LRLII, p. 195 # 2, 19850068

A number of objects found above the floor, usually in the rock/tile concentration, can be associated with manufacture:

Possible mold fragment ( LRLII, p. 47 # 3 )

"Forno" ( , 19850058


Bellows fitting (? , 19850005

19850005 19850005 )

Possible nozzle, vitrified ( )

Strainer fragment ( LRLIII, p. 5 # 4 )

Heavy utility object, rim fragment ( LRLIII, p. 37 # 6 )

4. Pottery

Fine wares, buff and grey, as well as bucchero and buccheroid, are surprisingly rare; the vast majority, almost the entire body of pottery collected, is impasto.  Indeed pottery never occurred in great quantities.  Most was found, not surprisingly, in the plaster/burn soil but even here it was sometimes rare, and the topsoil sometimes yielded a fair amount.

It may be significant that few joins have been made and no full profiles recovered.


A. Body sherds are chosen to illustrate the variations in fabric, color, surface, and texture, as well as thickness.

Color may be black or, more often, orange, but most ranges from greyish to orangish brown.  Many have a coarse surface, but smoothed surfaces are also common; the latter tend, naturally, to belong to smaller, thinner pieces.  A minority of sherds belong to finer grey or orange wares.  A distinct group, kept in its entirety, is ruddy brown in color with a smoothed surface; these fragments may all belong to one large vessel, which may have had a flaring rim (or foot?) and a small, rounded protuberance on its interior.  Four fragments share a brilliant, strawberry red color and a coarse surface.  One fragment's interior

is an equally brilliant and peculiar red-orange, its surface also coarse.

Here numbers are those prior to selection and storage.  Shape designations are those of Bouloumie-Marique 1978.

B. Base fragments, from flat-bottomed pots, cups, bowls or plates: 32, giving the full range of colors, surfaces and thickness.

C. Foot, stem and stem-attachment fragments:

Low ring-feet 2 (1 large, coarse orange dish, 1 finer and orange-brown)

Low-footed bowl in coarse, grey black impasto, probably with simple lip

Low echinus-footed bowl, delicately shaped and with central "omphalos" (LRLII, p. 131 # 3).

With very wide, low foot and smooth surface : 2

With low wide-flaring feet typical of shape E36: 2; 1 delicate, plates or cups: 8 in relatively fine fabric, orange to grey.

D. Rims attributable to bowls, dishes, plates or cups.  Bowls with inverted rims (shapes A-C); 25, in a wide-range, from heavish and coarse to finer grey and orange; most relatively thin and smooth.

With very low rim (cf. Shape D): 1 finer grey, 2 finer orange and small.

Bowls, dishes and plates without inverted (or everted) rims, though often with distince lips: 19; 6 relatively large, utility; few are fine or

delicate (cf. Shapes E and F).

With the kantharos-type body of Shape G: 5, in relatively fine orange impasto, 1 smoothed.

Variant with slightly out-turned lip (Shape G16):1

E. Most common, to judge from rims, are pots, large and small.

Globular to ovoid bodies with rolled rims (m1): 14.  These are largest in scale, on the average, in keeping with the pattern established by examples with full profiles.  3 with somewhat smooth surface

With straight, everted rim (m2): 35.  Only 4 are largish, and some are very small.  A good cross-section of colors and surfaces.

With flat-topped lip (N): 2  Both big.

With narrow, flaring rim (J): 12.  6 have horizontal ribbing on the interior of the rim - higly distinctive.

With ovoid and grooved, inturned rims (L): 19.  1 wihtout grooves and only heavy example.  There tend to be smallish and finer than the m1's and m2's.  1 has an incipient collar-rim.

With a simple, collar-like rim: 4  Relatively fine fabric; 1 burned blue-grey

and vitrified over join.

With offset, conical shoulder and short, or incipient, everted rim: 3.  1 larger, grey-black. 2 delicate, orange with horizontally ribbed shoulders (shape "m3")

F. Handles - large, cylindrical: 7.  Generally coarse.  More delicately shaped or smoothed cylindrical; 4, 3 large, 1 small.  Strap: 6.  Coarse.  Some smoothed.


More striking in quantity, though some body fragments may well belong to large pots.  See supra p. 33 on quantity, and

Rim profiles recall that of shape N, and the two relatively small rims might be better considered great pots (petits dolia).

3 fragments have raised, fillet-like bands, E-G LRLII, p. 183 # 3 .

2 great strap - and one great cylindrical, handles are attested.


2 fragmentary cooking surfaces: ( 19850020

), 171 # 5 (       ).

1 fragment of a cooking bell, .

1 fragment of a vase with holes, LRLII, p. 149 # 2 ( 19850060


Note also the heavy, inscribed handle, ( 19850014


Fine buff ware is discussed with a fine blue-grey ware that seem to be burnt buffware.

Body sherds: a mere 18, not counting those entered as being possibly painted.  The following give indications of shape.

1. Possibly an ionic cup.

2. Possibly burnt bucchero.  Stem?

3. As previous.

4. Italo-corinthian?  Stem?  Neck?


5. Tiny dish.

Sizeable dish.


6. Kantharos?  Pitcher?

7. From a double handle.

A few fragments of extremely fine (levigated) orange-ware, body and rim fragments and grey-ware are detached, perhaps arbitrarily, from the impasto.

Orangeware: 8, including

Rims - extremely tiny.  cf. LRLIII, p. 49 # 1 Also LRLII, p. 157 # 2 : knob.

Greyware: with brown slip (?): 1 delicate flat-bottomed base, finely formed.

Bucchero and Buccheroid , including burnt ruddy brown.

Body sherds: Less than 100, including: no rim.  And 4 with paired horizontal incisions.  and 1 from kantharos with nicked "carination."


Flat-bottomed: 6

Low foot: 1

Extremely delicate ring-foot: 1

Stem or high, flaring foot: 4

Neck (?)

Rims are from dishes, refined versions of Shape D: 4 or simple, suggesting "ionic" cups or kantharoi, 5 with horizontal incisions.


Strap: 11, 2 with lateral rims:

Cylindrical: 2

Double: 1


Anomalous in shape or fabric

1. Orange brown impasto with vertical "rib"

2. Pink-buff impasto.  Rim.

3. Red-orange ware rim.  Plate or dish.

Pottery with Stamped or Impressed Decoration

From topsoil: LRLII, p. 35 # 5 ( 19850003


From burn/plaster soil: LRLIII, p. 47 # 6

From directly on floor: LRLII, p. 35 # 3 ( 19850008

19850008 19850008 )

Stratigraphy uncertain: LRLII, p. 35 # 4 ( 19850004 ); 167 # 1 ( 19850035

); LRLIII, p. 45 # 1 and # 2.

With fluting or ribbing:

From plaster/burn soil: LRLIII, p. 47 # 6 ; 225 # 6 .  Near floor: LRLII, p. 213 # 5; LRLIII, p. 11 # 2. Uncertain stratigraphy: LRLIII, p. 45 # 2, # 3, # 4 ; 49 # 1, # 3, # 4.

With Incised Decoration:

Near floor: LRLIII, p. 11 # 2

Uncertain stratigraphy: LRLIII, p. 49 # 3

Stamped Rocchetti

Topsoil: LRLII, p. 159 # 1 ( 19850034

); LRLIII, p. 7 # 7 .

Discussion of painted fragments should await the cleaning and examination of potentially painted pieces.

Documentation of Column Base Preservation

Additional Finds (continued from LRLII, p. 251 )


  • Find # 18
  • 88-89
  • Depth unknown, found in cleaning
  • Bone moulding


  • Find # 19
  • 88-89
  • Depth unknown, found in cleaning
  • Diamond shaped ivory inlay
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Suggested Citation

L. Ron Lacy. "LRL III (1985-07-29):52-107; Final Summaries from Italy/Poggio Civitate/Tesoro/Tesoro 26/1985, ID:434". (2017) In Murlo. Anthony Tuck (Ed.) . Released: 2017-10-04. Open Context. <>

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