2006 CONSERVATION & MAGAZZINO
Gretchen Meyers, Rollins University, Director of Materials
Ann Steiner, Franklin and Marshall College, Director of Research
Chris White, University of Arizona, Head Conservator
Anne Hooten, Illustrator

Lilly Albritton, Southern Methodist University, Lab Assistant
Nicole Beratesqui, MVAP, Lab Assistant
Courtney Brasher, Bryn Mawr College, Lab Assistant
Fiammetta Calosi, Universita degli Studi di Firenze, Lab Assistant
Lauren Jackson, Rollins College, Lab Assistant
Angela Trentacoste, University of Virginia, Lab Assistant
Candace Vaden, Oxford University, Lab Assistant
Anna Serotta, New York University, Conservation Intern

 Opening Report  Final Report


2006 Lab and Magazzino staff work on conservation, illustration, and catalog.

 


Gretchen Meyers and Anne Hooten study roof tiles.

Magazzino and Conservation -- Opening Report
Gretchen E. Meyers, Director of Materials (Rollins College)

This is an exciting season for research and conservation in the lab at Poggio Colla. Since we have designated this year as a study season, many of us arrived two weeks prior to excavation and used that time to organize our new more permanent storage and lab facilities, assess and revise our catalog and study some of the large bodies of material that we have been excavating for the past 11 years. Due to the high volume of ceramics, metals, tiles and other objects that we have been uncovering during excavation, a period of assessment and study was vital in shaping our research priorities for the years to come. Ann Steiner, Director of Research, and myself have been assisted in this important process by a wonderful group of research associates: Lilly Albritton, Aaron Bartels, Nicole Beratesqui, Courtney Brasher, Lauren Jackson, Angela Trentacoste and Candace Vaden. Their input and insight have been invaluable to us and they continue to help the research and archiving aspect of the lab flourish.


Aaron Bartels and Ann Steiner discuss ceramic finds.

 


Courtney Brasher entering catalog data.

Because of this early season emphasis on assessing previously excavated material, our conservators have had the opportunity to work on large conservation projects that have been set aside in past seasons due to time and space. Chris White, Head Conservator and his conservation intern, Anna Serotta, have spent the last few weeks working on large objects such as pithoi and roof tiles, as well as a number of deposits that include nearly complete fine ware vessels. Now, with excavation beginning, they are able to turn their attention to the new material being found on the site.


Chris White consolidating a roof tile fragment.

The documentary aspect of the lab is completed by photography and illustration. Our illustrator, Anne Hooten, is joining us for a second year. As we prepare our final publication of the architecture and material from the Podere Funghi, Anne has been illustrating every catalogued object from this area of the site. In addition, she continues to work on other material that is currently being studied by various members of our team, such as the coarse ware pottery and roof tiles. Richard Bidgood and Fiammetta Calosi have been working on the important task of photographing material from the Podere Funghi and preparing the digital images for publication.


Ceramic vessel illustrations by Anne Hooten.

 


Lauren Jackson,
Fiammetta Calosi, and Richard Bidgood study data.

With such a large and wonderful staff working in the lab everyday, I am confident that we will have a great season. I look forward to the new discoveries and insights from such close study of our material as we all work together to better understand the site as a whole.


Lilly Albritton cataloguing finds.

Magazzino and Conservation -- Final Report
Gretchen E. Meyers, Director of Materials (Rollins College)

As the 2006 season is drawing to a close it is certainly easy to look back and appreciate all we have accomplished and learned in the lab this year. Due to the emphasis on study and research our cataloguing and storage systems for material from previous seasons have been utilized frequently. This has allowed us both to test the limits and appreciate the benefits of a program developed in earlier years with fewer finds. Our student research groups have accessed and studied material from both Poggio Colla and the Podere Funghi; they have looked through nearly 100 cassette of context pottery and small finds; they have read trench notebooks and other recorded data from nearly every trench excavated during our previous 12 years. Such a massive undertaking of study and research was made possible due to the organization and structure of our catalog and storage facilities. In addition, we have moved many of our objects from previous seasons from cardboard boxes to sturdy containers more suitable for long-term storage.


Chris Didizian, Aaron Bartels, and Nicole Beratesqui
study coarse ware in the lab.

We also were able to welcome a number of consulting scholars who looked over material from past seasons. Please refer to our research report by Dr. Ann Steiner for details.
Research

Many of the projects undertaken by our conservation and illustration staff supported the activities of the faculty-led student research groups. Chris White, head conservator, assisted by intern Anna Serotta and research associate Nicole Beratesqui, reconstructed a large coarse ware pithos of a type commonly seen at Poggio Colla. Their work also included a number of full length or full width roof tiles from both Poggio Colla and Podere Funghi.


Nicole Beratesqui and Anna Serotta joining roof tile fragments.

 


Conservator Chris White reconstructing a Poggio Colla pithos.

In addition, Anne Hooten completed our documentation of these important finds through illustration. In the second half of the season Fiammetta Calosi moved from photography documentation to illustration, where she assisted Anne with drawing and inking.


Illustrator Anne Hooten completed hundreds of drawings in 2006.


Fiammetta Calosi drawing a loom weight.

The limited excavations this season did produce a number of finds, especially in the final weeks. I am very grateful to Courtney Brasher who managed our database of current finds and our 2006 catalog. Our brief season produced 27 catalogued finds, including a well preserved black glaze cup with two handles from PC 29, a number of new bronze finds from PC 1 and some particularly intriguing bronze pieces from a votive context in PC 28. As many of these finds came up in the last few days of excavation, careful conservation and attention is ongoing.


Courtney Brasher organizing finds and entering catalog data.

 


Ann Serotta protects a fragile bronze sheet with
gauze prior to lifting it from PC 28 in 2006.

 


Chris White uses gauze and plaster to protect a fragile bowl.

The insights and breakthroughs from our research this season will surely influence our excavation and research design in these crucial upcoming years. I have seen firsthand the value of pausing to appreciate the richness and depth of evidence that our site provides. As always, I end the season with many new questions. I look forward to a productive off-season and the opportunity to develop new research strategies for the 2007 season.


Ann Steiner and Gretchen Meyers with mysterious
finds, en route from the magazzino to the lab.

 

For photographs of key finds from trenches in the recent season, see Finds.

For information on the Conservation Lab, see below. For additional information on the lab and magazzino, visit the Conservation Lab page listed under Facilities.


2006 conservation lab and magazzino in Guardia.

About the Conservation Lab

In the conservation lab, conservators and assistant conservators clean, conserve, and label finds. Conservation involves the repair, consolidation, and preservation of material remains. In special cases, our conservators will come up to the site and assist in the removal of fragile remains. Conservation work requires expertise in art history, science, and studio art, and an understanding of archaeological methodology.


Conservation Intern Anna Serotta consolidating finds.

 


Puzzle: a table of pot sherds to be matched up and joined.

 


Lab Assistant Courtney Brasher measuring coarseware for catalogue.

 


Conservation tools and chemicals used in cleaning and joining finds.

 


Chris White joins and restores fragments of a bucchero oinochoe.

 


Chris White with his portable conservation lab.

 


Bowl in soil block carefully wrapped by Chris White in preparation for lifting.

 


Anna Serotta and Chris White lifting bowl from Trench PC 28 for transport to the lab.

 


2004 Head Conservator Chris White advises Katy Blanchard
on excavation of Feature 2 in Podere Funghi Trench PF 15.