Open Context

Final Summary

Excavation was undertaken in Tesoro Trench 25 in order to A) pick up more evidence of the southern defense wall, B) search for the statue fragments, such as the boar's head fragment discovered in 1978, and C) eventually connect up with Tesoro Trench 26.

Excavation in delta-epsilon/48-49 and so on demonstrated that the defense wall does not continue any further to the east than the section excavated in 1982 (stopping in grid 45).  Work in gamma-epsilon/48-49 did reveal a very distinct stratigraphical separation (see CT I p. 16 ) - a grey-brown soil layer with some stone and tile inclusion (probably a modern refill area) sloping up and over a rooty, red soil layer, referred to as Stratum C, which is completely infiltrated with fine redware pottery fragments.

It is very surprising, considering the quantity of redware sherds, to note that no complete

profile could be reconstructed.  A great amount of highly-vitrified matter was found in this stratum as well.

While excavating Stratum C, approximately halfway down into the layer, a "floor" - very much like the terracotta mortar floor in T-26 (see MT II , MT III , MT IV , MT V , MT VI , MT VII , and MT VIII ) yet much more worn - was encountered.

Excavation was undertaken in Tesoro Trench 25 in order to A) pick up more evidence of the southern defense wall, B) search for the statue fragments, such as the boar's head fragment discovered in 1978, and C) eventually connect up with Tesoro Trench 26.

Excavation in delta-epsilon/48-49 and so on demonstrated that the defense wall does not continue any further to the east than the section excavated in 1982 (stopping in grid 45).  Work in gamma-epsilon/48-49 did reveal a very distinct stratigraphical separation (see CT I p. 16 ) - a grey-brown soil layer with some stone and tile inclusion (probably a modern refill area) sloping up and over a rooty, red soil layer, referred to as Stratum C, which is completely infiltrated with fine redware pottery fragments.

It is very surprising, considering the quantity of redware sherds, to note that no complete

profile could be reconstructed.  A great amount of highly-vitrified matter was found in this stratum as well.

While excavating Stratum C, approximately halfway down into the layer, a "floor" - very much like the terracotta mortar floor in T-26 (see MT II , MT III , MT IV , MT V , MT VI , MT VII , and MT VIII ) yet much more worn - was encountered.

A huge amount of vitrified matter (most likely plaster) was found in the layer just above the "floor."  And below the "floor" - in an area left unexcavated - appeared a distinct 2-3 cm burn layer.  The "floor" stops - sloping down to the north on a west to east line crossing gamma-delta/48-50.  Below the edge of the "floor" - actually hanging off the edge - is a small tile fall embedded in plaster (which was left in place).  A fragment of a cut-out acroterion was found amongst the tile.

While excavating further to the east (in

zeta/48-49), a flat-topped stone embedded in the "floor" was encountered - possibly a column base.  It turned out to be much too small, but another stone did appear on the southern edge of zeta/48-49.  A cut was made one meter to the south into eta/48-49.

Directly in line with the northern row of column bases in T-26, a very worn and chipped column base - almost separated into 2 halves - was found.  It turns out that the earlier mentioned flat-topped stone to the north of this base parallels a common feature in T-26.  Almost all of the column bases in the northern row in T-26 have an adjacent small stone to the north.  Dr. Mark Tobey feels that these stones were somehow involved in the construction of the building being excavated in T-26.

To make certain that the column base was indeed part of the same building as that being excavated in T-26, a cut was made 2.75 m (the standard distance between column bases) to the east.

The "floor" continued into this area, and another column base (surrounded by a heavy plaster concentration) was uncovered in zeta/51-52.  This base was in much better condition than the one previously excavated.  Hence this section of T-25 is part of the building being excavated in T-26.  The northern row of column bases as of August 1 numbered 17 - making this building at least over 46 meters long.

Grid zeta/52-53 was excavated revealing some breaks in the floor.  A lot of tile was found just above and directly on the floor in this area.  The concentration of fine redware pottery died down almost completely by this point - suggesting a change in stratigraphy.  Coarseware comprised the majority of pottery fragments from here out.

While excavating to the north in delta-epsilon/53, a complete pithos base -surrounded by and filled with plaster - was discovered.  It rests directly on the

floor.  (A great amount of pithos fragments were found all around this area.)  Just to the east of this pithos - in delta-epsilon/53-54 (2.75 m from the last base) - another column base (in very good condition) was uncovered.  It is interesting to note the relationship of the pithos to the floor and the column base - another complete pithos base was found resting on the floor and second column base to the east of this particular column base in T-26, grid Y-57.

In order to find a column base on the line with the middle row of bases in T-26, a cut was made 2.75 m to the south into eta/54-55 (this point was chosen as it didn't seem to be quite as much on the slant of Piano del Tesoro as the column base spots further to the west).  A tree had grown up in these grids, and the stump was located right on the spot of this hypothetical column base.  The area was filled with large roots and many little stones, but no column base was found.  It seems logical to

assume that the base did once exist but has since been torn up by tree roots and eroded away.  The floor does not continue in this area either - it, too, probably eroded away.

Work was begun in grids gamma-delta/55-56, and in gamma/55-56, very large chunks of fired terracotta were found.  Beneath these chunks - some of which have finger-like impressions as if they had been modelled - a very large mass of plaster was uncovered.  Embedded in this mass is what appears to be a terracotta "brick."  This tremendous mass seems to suggest more than just plaster fill for a roofing system.  A wall is possible.

Beneath the eastern part of this mass, another column base - in the best condition yet - was uncovered.  Once again, it is 2.75 m from the previous base.  Coming out of the baulk wall in gamma/57 is an area of highly vitrified matter that was left "in situ."

Another try for a column base in the middle row was made 2.75 m to the south in grids epsilon-zeta/56-57, and an extremely worn and

chipped base was found in zeta/57.  The floor appears to continue around the north side of this base, but it disintegrates around the sides and to the south.  More terracotta chunks with finger-like impressions were found to the north of the column base in zeta/57.

The point came to where T-25 and T-26 were merged.  The two trenches will be kept separate (see CT I, p. 6 and CT I, p. 15 ), but no baulk was left up between them.  The baulk between T-25 and T-26 only measured .6 of a meter, so T-26 grid 58 is a small grid.

In connecting the two trenches, a series of terracotta slabs or flat "tiles" was found in gamma-delta/57-58 lying on the floor, end to end on a line running parallel to and inside the line of column bases.  There appear to be four "tiles" - two basically complete ones in between two fragmentary ones.  They measure ~25 cm in width and ~58 cm in length - very close to the standard frieze plaque measurement (~24 cm wide

and ~55 cm long).  Yet both sides of these "tiles" are flat and smooth.

To the south - adjacent and parallel to the "tiles" - is a series of three stones lying on the floor.  Their placement seems deliberate.  While cleaning down to the floor in grids gamma-delta/54-58, another "tile" fragment was found on the line in delta/56.  And even further to the west - on the same line - two more "tile" fragments were uncovered in delta/55.  So it appears that these odd "tiles" extended - butted up against one another - in at least a 3 meter straight line.

Running along the south of these "tiles" - from epsilon/54 to delta/57 - is a dip or trench in the floor (not a break).  The "tiles" themselves were left "in situ."  Their function is unknown.  It is interesting to note that today in Italy some roofs are constructed with flat pan tiles on the crest of the roof serving as a ridgepole might.  It is possible that these "tiles" could have collapsed directly

down from the roof of this building.  But the similarity in size to the standard frieze plaque is striking.  And one must take into consideration the hypothesis that this building is a workshop area (see MT II , MT III , MT IV , MT V , MT VI , MT VII , MT VIII , AC I , and AC II ).

- Chelle Tutt, August 2 1984

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Suggested Citation

Michelle Tutt. "CT II (1984-08-03):73-82; Final Summary from Italy/Poggio Civitate/Tesoro/Tesoro 25/1984, ID:103". (2017) In Murlo. Anthony Tuck (Ed.) . Released: 2017-10-04. Open Context. <http://opencontext.org/documents/476274a8-4e0a-4cc2-9bb8-db62ae519c3b>

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