T-48 was opened on the Piano del Tesoro, approximately 5m to the north of the orientalizing period workshop and 10m to the east of the column pads previously uncovered in the T-30 area.. The purpose of opening T-48 was fivefold.
- To examine the stratigraphy of the area in between the archaic southern courtyard and the orientalizing workshop.
- To reveal the full extent of the possible building uncovered in the T-30 area by finding an additional large, flattened stone, or column pad.
- To investigate the orientation and construction of the possible T-30 building.
- To determine the extent of the concentration of bone and antler that was uncovered in the T-23 and T-26 trenches.
- To find evidence of the source of this concentration of bone and antler.
Of these five goals, only one was met successfully. T-48 was excavated to an elevation approximately 80cm below the elevations of the column pads uncovered in the T-30 area and no column pad was found in the trench. As such, no real information concerning the orientation or the construction of the building could be gained from the trench either; no column pads or foundation walls were found in T-48 this season. However, an unusual pan tile with a tongue projection (20070119)
was recovered from Locus 7 , and from Locus 10 a large piece of plaster with two impressed curves (20070340) and an unusual cutout akroterion fragment (20070343) were found; these architectural remains may provide some insight into the construction of buildings in the area, although more excavations will have to be done in subsequent seasons in this area.
Additionally, while some decorative fragments of bone and antler, the amount recovered certainly does not merit being called a concentration; 10 decorated bone and antler fragments were recovered from the trench, one from Locus 8 (20070231) and nine from Locus 10 (20070175, 20070210, 20070328, 20070225, 20070248, 20070233, 20070177, 20070159, and 20070332). This number is significantly less than the dozens of bone and antler fragments recovered from T-23 and T-26. Given the relative dearth of bone and antler found in T-48, it is therefore not possible to determine the source of the concentration recovered in T-23 and T-26.
Although T-48 was unsuccessful in meeting four of the five goals, the first goal was met with success. Much was revealed about the stratigraphy of the area directly to the east of the possible T-30 building. The types of soil uncovered in T-48 this season are nearly identical to those uncovered in nearby trenches; topsoil, redeposited galestra, a yellowish olive brown soil, a heavily mottled soil, and a carbon-rich burnt soil were all found in both T-48 and other nearby trenches, such as T-46. However, each soil package in T-48 was significantly
thicker than the soil packages found elsewhere, especially in T-46. The redeposited galestra stratum, which corresponds to Loci 3 , 4 , 5 , and 7 , is especially thick, measuring an average depth of approximately 70cm; this is opposed to the roughly 15cm depth of the same soil package in other nearby trenches. Similarly, the heavily mottled soil uncovered in T-48 is fairly thick as well. Based on previous excavations in the Piano del Tesoro, it is thought that both of these soil packages, the redeposited galestra and the heavily mottled soil, represent post-destruction scrapings of the site. Given this interpretation of these soils, it seems likely that the area of T-48 was, in antiquity, a depression, the slope of which was fairly steep. Thus, in order to level the area after the destruction of both the orientalizing complex and the archaic building, a great amount of soil would have needed to be deposited in this area to bring the ground level up to the elevation of the surrounding area. This is further supported by the fact that the charcoal rich, burnt soil that was uncovered in the northwest corner of the trench was found at an absolute elevation of 26.24m at its highest point in the trench, whereas the same soil begins to appear at an elevation of 27.15m in T-46 (see ECVI, p. 343, Locus 7). This 90cm difference in elevation suggests a significant drop in elevation between the two trenches, which are only approximately 2m apart.
Unfortunately, T-48 was not excavated to completion in the 2007 season. Further excavations will have to be carried out in subsequent seasons in order to better understand the stratigraphy of the area. Additionally, it is possible that the bone and antler concentration found in T-23 and T-26 was not yet come upon in T-48, and so further excavations should be done in T-48 and in the surrounding area to determine if there is a greater concentration of decorative bone and antler. More work will have to be done in the area to better understand the relationship between T-48 and its surroundings.
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