2006 STUDENT RESEARCH PROJECT:
TILE AND THE ETRUSCAN ROOF
Dr. Gretchen Meyers
, Rollins College
Jess Galloway, Booziotis & Co., Architects

Students:
William Gilstrap, University of California Long Beach
Laura Hovenac, Miami University of Ohio
Andrew Stephan, University of Michigan
Lesli Welch, Southern Methodist University
Lab Assistant: Lauren Jackson


Lauren Jackson and Gretchen Meyers directing roof tile research in the museum magazzino.

Project Report & Assignment by Dr. Gretchen Meyers

Background:

A great deal of tile associated with the roofing systems of the monumental structure on the Poggio Colla acropolis and the workshop/farmhouse of Podere Funghi has been collected during previous years of ongoing excavation. At Podere Funghi several separate instances of tile fall have been documented within the Hellenistic structure. Less frequent are the instances of substantial tile falls on Poggio Colla, but a great deal of information can be gained from the nearly complete examples of pan tile, cover tile, ridge tile and other unique pieces, such as fragments of smoke-hole/ventilation tiles excavated from both sites. The many fragments of terracotta roof tile from Poggio Colla and the Podere Funghi are currently being studied under the direction of Gretchen Meyers, together with the site's architect, Jess Galloway and research associate, Lauren Jackson. A unified typology of the tile and a reconstruction of the roofing systems of the site's architecture is the goal of this work.

Preliminary work began last summer when a student research group created an initial typology of tile from Poggio Colla based on size, fabric and flange profile. The tiles were also briefly assessed in relation to the typological features of S. Etruscan tiles established by Örjan Wikander and an initial survey of the tile in relation to the site's stratigraphy was completed.


The Tile Team: Gretchen Meyers and Jess Galloway

Goals &Questions:

This summer's work will attempt to widen our understanding of the tile to include tile from the Podere Funghi.

First it is necessary to examine and record in standard terminology the typological features of the tile found at Podere Funghi. This material is particularly important because a substantial tile fall was excavated in this structure in 2002. The tile from this particular area was preserved together and has yet to be studied. With the assistance of the site's architect we will also consider possible roof reconstructions and standard measurements of the various tile groups.

Our second objective is to refine our typology of Poggio Colla tile and make comparisons with the Podere Funghi. Using published materials we will integrate our findings with established tile typologies from other Etruscan sites, as well as other examples of tile from Northern Etruria.

Our third objective is to consider the stratigraphic and chronological significance of the tile from Poggio Colla and the Podere Funghi in order to better understand the occurrence of tile on our site in relation to the diffusion of tile technology in central Italy.

Final Project:

As part of the course requirements for the field school, all students will complete a final project composed of two parts. 1) At the end of the summer, as a group the four students will prepare and present a power point presentation that addresses the goals, processes and conclusions reached during the research. 2) By September 1, each student will write a 8-10 page paper which will be composed of a brief catalog of a portion of the tile studied (for example, pan tiles from PF, cover tiles from PC, etc). At the end of the catalog students will discuss issues of typology, chronology, manufacture or other relevant conclusions.

Readings:

The following readings will be made available as xeroxes. Students will be expected to share available copies. This is a preliminary schedule. Additions or changes may occur at the discretion of the professor and will be announced as needed.

Ö. Wikander, "From Clay Beds to Excavation," in Acquarossa. Volume VI. The Roof-Tiles. Part 2. Typology and Technical Features. (Stockholm 1993), 100-139.

R. C. Hendrickson &M. J. Blackman, "Hellenistic Production of Terracotta Roof Tiles among the Ceramic Industries at Gordion," Oxford Journal of Archaeology 18 (1999), 307-326.

D. Ridgway, The World of the Early Etruscans. Jonsered 2002.


Professor Gretchen Meyers with the 2006 roof tile research group.

 


Laura Hovenac (left) and Lesli Welch (right) measuring cover and pan tiles for drawings.

 


Left: Andrew Stephan drawing tile. Right: Illustrator Anne Hooten
and William Gilstrap discuss illustration methodology.

 


Andrew Stephan's tools and drawing of a pan tile fragment.

 


Anne Hooten's illustration of a smoke hole tile

 


Andrew Stephan drawing roof tile fragments.

 


Lauren Jackson, Laura Hovenac, and Lesli Welch work on tile in the lab.

 


Jess Galloway drawing profiles of cover tiles from a Poggio Colla roof.