2010 CONSERVATION & MAGAZZINO
Gretchen Meyers, Franklin & Marshall College: Director of Materials
Ann Steiner, Franklin & Marshall College: Director of Research

Chris White, Director of Conservation
Allison Lewis, Head Conservator
JoAnn Boscarino, Illustrator

Laura Hovenac, Laboratory Fellow
Matt Naiman, Laboratory Fellow
Angela Trentacoste, Laboratory Fellow

Erin Anderson, Conservation Intern
Nicole Ledoux, Conservation Intern

 

 Opening Report  Final Report

 

Magazzino and Conservation -- Opening Report
Director of Research: Dr. Ann Steiner, Franklin and Marshall College


Director of Research Ann Steiner

The 2010 season in the lab started with a bang, both because of a smooth end to the 2009 season and because our staff includes dedicated returning personnel.  Laura Hovenac, undertaking a lab/museum internship for her graduate program at Florida State University, will continue in her key role managing finds and context information  as they come in from the field. Matt Naiman, F&M ’12, returns as a lab fellow and is in addition taking on the responsibilities of objects photographer.  Ann Steiner, Director of Research, and Gretchen Meyers, Director of Materials, are orchestrating several research projects for which Laura and Matt play key support roles.


Laboratory Fellows Matt Naiman and Laura Hovenac

A major focus for 2010 is to complete documentation of bucchero pottery for a major study and publication by our colleague Phil Perkins of The Open University (UK).  Phil continues to excavate new material, while preparing to publish material unearthed since work began at Poggio Colla in 1994.  Completion of profile drawings by JoAnn Boscarino and study photographs by Matt Naiman are helping move this massive project along.


Director of Materials Gretchen Meyers

Two other projects focus on the preparation of publication of the Podere Funghi excavations, completed in 2007.  Ceramic material from the midden has been the subject of several prior research projects. Taking priority this season is a study of midden roof tiles.  Laura Hovenac and Matt Naiman, under the direction of Gretchen Meyers, surveyed the tiles from the midden, noting diagnostic features.  Currently underway is an analysis by Matt Naiman of the proportion of roof tiles to other ceramics in the midden in comparison to the relative proportions in the architectural contexts at the site.  Preliminary results have not revealed firing or other production errors to suggest that tiles were manufactured in nearby kilns, yet there is a substantial amount of tile present.  What is apparently the earliest tile thus far recorded from the Podere Funghi comes from the midden.

Cassie Holtman, F&M ’12, is working with Gretchen Meyers to carry forward her work on weaving tools at Poggio Colla.  Documentation of spindle whorls, loom weights and spools excavated in the past two seasons, including recording of weight and dimensions as well as profile drawings by JoAnn Bosacarino, is complete, and analysis of the archaeological contexts for weaving tools in now underway.   Cassie and Matt Naiman will study the ceramic evidence that accompanies evidence for weaving, both to provide dates and for help understand the nature of use-contexts.


Illustrator JoAnn Boscarino

Finally, we are very lucky to have Angela Trentacoste, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Sheffield and a Poggio Colla alumna from the 2005 and 2006 seasons, returning to study the animal remains that have been excavated throughout the history of the site. Her analysis of excavated bones and teeth will contribute a vital perspective on the usage of space on the site and the social context of human-animal interaction throughout Poggio Colla’s history.


Laboratory Fellow Angela Trentacoste

Conservation of this season’s finds is being coordinated this season by Ariel O’Connor and Alison Lewis. They are joined by two conservation interns, Erin Anderson and Nicole Ledoux. In addition, to daily conservation, they have worked on pithos reconstruction and the reconditioning of excavated metals.


Conservation Intern Nicole Ledoux

 


Conservation Intern Erin Anderson

After the mid-season break, student research projects will bring field school participants into the lab during their “lab days,” during which they will search for material found in prior seasons that corresponds to what is emerging in their 2010 trenches.  Each student research paper will have a special focus on one category of ceramics, roof tile, weaving tools, or metal finds.  Research in the lab and assistance from staff will allow them to find links to other areas of the site that produced similar finds to help understand the nature of the areas where they are digging.

Lynn Makowsky is a Keeper of Collections, Mediterranean Section at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. She will be working on the paleoethnobotany samples from previous seasons and will be collecting samples from this season's excavations.

 

 

Magazzino and Conservation -- Final Report
Director of Research: Dr. Ann Steiner, Franklin and Marshall College

 


Lab Team: Matt Naiman, Ann Steiner, Angela Trentacoste, Gretchen Meyers, and Laura Hovenac

Guardia and Selve Labs

After our midseason break, the Selve and Guardia labs moved into overdrive as the material from the 2010 season began to make its way from the hill down for processing, while staff continued to attend to longer term projects from prior seasons. 

Guardia:  Conservation and Drawing

JoAnn Boscarino completed her goal of drawing weaving implements and turned the drafting table over to Fiametta Calosi, who started work on drawing material from our bronze deposit.   This vast undertaking will extend far into next season, along with the drawing of bucchero pottery.


Lynn Makowsky floating paleobotanical samples

Lynn Makowsky of the University Museum of the University of Pennsylvania arrived to carry on with flotation for our ongoing paleoethnobotany program.  This generous donation of professional time from the University Museum, ongoing now for at least ten years, promises to yield an impressive record as we work toward publication of the site.  Regular soil sampling is part of the excavation protocol, and Lynn has now processed a great portion of the samples for analysis.


Head Conservator Allison Lewis

Our head conservator for part II of the season, Allison Lewis, arrived after the long break.  She found the enormous “pithos project,” which occupied the interns for much of the first part of the season, in a happy stage, with joins identified and careful notes for a successor to reassemble the vessel if that becomes a priority.  The completed project occupied no fewer that 17 storage cassette, and it is a model of careful record keeping to aid future work on our numerous storage vessels.


Conservation and Illustration Team: Nicole Ledoux, Erin, Anderson, Fiammetta Calosi, and Allison Lewis

As it turned out, the end of the season saw another influx of pithoi from several trenches in the last days of excavation.  Conservation staff supervised field school students for a marathon morning session of washing so that next season’s team can begin again with the exciting process of assessing our pithoi.  The amount of material presents exciting ideas for research and exciting challenges for our own storage of storage vessels!


Lab Fellow Laura Hovenac

In the Selve lab, the post break weeks saw the inauguration of student research projects that brought them into the lab for several sessions as they tracked down comparanda and consulted past trench notebooks to work out their own mini-publication of their 2010 trenches.  Laura Hovenac developed a comprehensive plan for these research sessions, so that we could focus attention on supporting small groups of students while keeping everyone busy with different aspects of their project.  The result was that students could connect their understanding of the 2010 season’s discoveries with the longer history of the site and couls at the same time profit from experience and knowledge of the lab staff.

Our numerous research projects went forward. Gretchen Meyers and Cassie Holtmann worked out an assessment of contexts for weaving tools;  Matthew Naiman and Ann Steiner completed their analysis of the black glaze pottery from the Podere Funghi.  Angela Trentacosta was analyzing  bones until the last moment before finds were transported into their winter storage homes.


Angela Trentacoste analyzing bones from Poggio Colla

One large documentation project was completed in 2010, the scanning and indexing of over ten years of archaeological drawings.  With help from field school students, we now have a searchable database of drawings for use at the site and in libraries.

The season ended with a feeling of accomplishment—we achieved our key objectives and look forward to resuming work next season.  In fact, we can’t wait.


Jess Galloway, Gretchen Meyers, Ann Steiner and Michael Thomas at PC 41

 


Conservation staff and Lynn Makowsky on site

 


Gretchen Meyers with her family: Matt and Daphne Coonan

 


Trench PC 40 students and staff work on field notebooks

 


Students and staff research their trench finds in the lab

 


Matt Naiman assists student David Edelman with his research project

 


Finds from 2009 Poggio Colla trenches

 


Fiammetta Calosi illustrating a loom weight

 

 
Gretchen Meyers and Ann Steiner study a Poggio Colla pithos in the museum magazzino

Research

 

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 Labs page listed under Facilities.

 

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.


2007 Conservation and Illustration lab and staff:
Josiah Wagener, Allison Lewis, Wendy Walker, and Anne Hooton

 


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

 


Conservation tools and chemicals used in cleaning and joining finds

 


Axe from Poggio Colla trench being cleaned in conservation lab

 


Chris White joins and restores fragments of a bucchero oinochoe

 


Chris White with his portable conservation lab

 


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