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T-45 was excavated this summer with the following goals in mind.

  • To evidence more architectural features of the possible fourth Orientalizing building
  • To gain a better sense of the function of the building
  • To probe the relationship of the building to the bedrock outcropping that was discovered along the northern baulk of T-30G in 2005
  • To better understand the southern flank of the Archaic building (due to our proximity to the southern wall )

Although not every goal was entirely fulfilled, excavation in T-45 this summer was, for the most part, an overwhelming success. It is true that no column pads were discovered in T-45, or for that matter, anywhere else on the Piano del Tesoro in 2007, but an important architectural feature in the form of the channel was excavated instead. While the channel may not necessarily be part of the possible fourth building's architecture, it certainly would have played an important role in the maintenance and protection of a building that seems to have been constructed like the OC2/Workshop. The channel would have diverted water and runoff, which would slope down into the OC2/Workshop and into the possible Fourth Building, towards another area, possibly the sharp drop in topography which seems to occur in between T-46 and T-48. Such water drainage would have been necessary to prevent water from washing out and eroding dirt floors and undermining column pads.

The two stone features in T-45, the rocks that define the southern edge of the channel and the packed stone/bedrock feature in the northern meter and their position within the stratigraphy shed light for us on the nature of the topography of the Piano del Tesoro during the Orientalizing Period. The fact that the burn layers (Locus 6 and 7) in the northern meter of the trench sit directly on top of the packed stones and bedrock indicates that the bedrock and the packed stones were exposed during the period preceding the fire which destroyed the Orientalizing Complex and that dirt was scrapped over them after the fire, perhaps in preparation for construction of the Archaic complex. The entire packed stone/bedrock feature seems to be in line with the stones in the northern baulk of T-30G and also with the rocks in the northern baulk of T-47. The packed stones, which are not bedrock because they are small, can be removed after trowelling, and have terracotta lodged beneath them, seem to be an effort to fill in gaps in the bedrock. Therefore excavation in T-45 has shown that the bedrock in T-45 and probably the bedrock in T-30G and T-47 was an exposed feature of the landscape during the Orientalizing period, a feature which happened to slope rather steeply downwards in at least the area of T-45 and necessitated some means of diverting the water runoff away from the dirt floors of OC27Workshop and possibly the fourth building.

Although the channel and the bedrock have significantly changed our conception of the terrain on Piano del Tesoro during the Orientalizing Period, they have shed little light on the nature or function of the elusive \x93fourth building.\x94 It is tempting to suggest in light of the rather staggering amounts of bone found in the burn layers of both T-45 and T-46 that the building possibly served as the location for meat and/or bone processing. But it must be kept in mind that both T-45 and T-46 show no actual evidence of a building within their boundaries, and that the finds within both trenches may very well have nothing to do with the function of the \x93fourth building.\x94

Although T-45 did not contribute much to our understanding of the function of the T-30 column pads, excavation in T-45 did improve our understanding of the Archaic phase of the site. Locus 8 is a semi-circular soil feature that first appeared as Locus 4 was closing. It extends into the eastern baulk wall and is visible within the stratigraphy. Locus 8 remained open until the T-45 closed. It cuts through the burn layer and seems to be a posthole dug during the Archaic phase of the site. T-46 also preserves a similar soil feature in its south baulk wall that appears to be in line with Locus 8. Locus 5, the deposit of different soil in the NW corner which cuts into the packed stone/bedrock feature behaves in a similar fashion to Locus 8 and extends down through the burn layer. It too may be an Archaic post hole, but it is not certain.

The wealth of finds that T-45 yielded this summer, including its packed stone/bedrock feature and the channel certainly merit further excavation in the surrounding area. Further excavation in T-30G to see if the channel extends west into that trench and excavation further to the east should prove interesting. It is certainly worth considering simply to see if there is a relationship between the channel and the sharp drop in topography as it approaches the area of T-48.
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Suggested Citation

Joseph R. Vansuch. "JRV I (2007-08-10):0; Conclusion from Italy/Poggio Civitate/Tesoro/Tesoro 45/2007, ID:584". (2017) In Murlo. Anthony Tuck (Ed.) . Released: 2017-10-04. Open Context. <>

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