Open Context



T 78 was opened for the following reasons:

1. To determine whether the northern linear rock feature found in T 57 in 2014 continues eastward.

2. To search for a north-south running return wall, connecting the northern linear rock feature in T 57, 74, and 77 with the southern linear rock feature in T 59, 65, 66, 69, 75, and 76.

3. To search for a possible floor surface associated with the new building.

4. To securely date the potential new structure.

T-78 was fairly successful in meeting these goals. A portion of the linear rock feature found in T-57 was found in T-78. Before excavations in T-78, this feature was shown to continue eastward through T-74, 77, and 79, marking the northern wall of a newly discovered building. In T-78, two large rocks were preserved in the western meters of the trench but the wall was largely absent. However, this wall was preserved along the eastern edge of the trench, where it was declared Locus 6 , and continued eastward into T-81. This wall is 1.2 meters thick, which is consistent with the width of better preserved portions of all exterior walls. Therefore, it seems that the northern wall of T-78 was disturbed or damaged, either in antiquity or in earlier years of excavation; it is possible that trench CA 25, excavated in 1969, disturbed the wall in the area of T-78.

As the northern wall of the newly discovered building continued eastward into T-81, no eastern return wall was found in T-78. However, no eastern wall was found in T-81 either. Rather, it is likely that the eastern end of the building was left open, as no return wall was found here and a continuous floor surface was found extending from the interior to the exterior of the building in T-66. However, the northeastern corner of the building was damaged by earlier excavations, for trench CA 31 cut across the eastern edge of the northern wall of the building in T-81; CA 31 is situated far enough east of the southeastern end of the building that the continuous floor surface, running from interior to exterior, in T-66 was preserved.

Although the northern wall of the newly discovered building was largely damaged in T-78, a small portion of an interior floor surface was preserved in the southern meters of the trench. This was a dense, hard packed soil, atop which many fragments of plaster and some sherds of pottery were lying flat. The floor surface, which was uncovered beneath Locus 7 , was bordered to the south and east by linear rock features. The southern rock feature was quite robust and appeared to run parallel to the northern and southern walls of the building. This may be an internal partition wall, which mirrors a similar wall found running parallel to the southern wall of the building in T-66, 75, and 76. The eastern rock feature bordering the floor surface in T-78 is far smaller and may not be associated with the newly discovered building.

Little chronologically diagnostic material was recovered from T-78 and so the trench did not aid in the dating of the new building. The one potential exception is a small, incised bucchero rim that preserves decorations similar to examples found within other 7 th century buildings at Poggio Civitate. This suggests that the newly found building was occupied in the 7 th century, contemporaneously with OC 1 Residence, OC 2 Workshop, and OC 3 Tripartite. This hypothesis corroborated by a small number of finds recovered from within the walls themselves, atop preserved floor surfaces, and beneath preserved floor surfaces. Two cut-out akroteria fragments were found within the building, atop the walls ( 20140087 20140087 and 20150043 20150043 ) while a bucchero footed cup of a type identical to one found in OC 1 Residence was found integrated amongst a wall in 2014 ( 20140128 20140128 ). A nearly intact oinochoe that appears early Protocorinthian in shape and dates to approximately 675 BCE was recovered in a sounding below the floor surface ( 20140093 20140093 ).

Lastly, the uniform thickness of all exterior walls suggests that this is an early monumental building that is at least contemporary with, if not earlier than, the other three 7 th century buildings at Poggio Civitate. Walls are uniformly 1.2 meters thick where they are fully preserved and in many places are built against bedrock. This likely reflects an insecurity with new terracotta roofing technology and the ability of foundation walls to bear the weight of a tiled roof. If this hypothesis is correct, then the newly discovered building is the earliest example of monumental architecture with roof tiles at the site and is perhaps the earliest such example in the region.

Closing coordinates for T-78 are:

\xb7 NW corner: 106E/38S

\xb7 NE corner: 109E/38S

\xb7 SE corner: 1093/43S

\xb7 SW corner: 106E/43S

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Suggested Citation

Katharine R. Kreindler. "KRK IX (2015-08-13):241-245; Conclusion from Italy/Poggio Civitate/Tesoro/Tesoro 78/2015, ID:701". (2017) In Murlo. Anthony Tuck (Ed.) . Released: 2017-10-04. Open Context. <>

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