TRENCH PC 41
Field Supervisor: Cameron Turley, Southern Methodist University
Turley observes progress in his trench
we have gathered to spend our summer excavating in this singular
landscape. For many of us, the rustic field houses spread
throughout the countryside are beginning to feel like second
homes, welcoming us back to the valley. We’re glad
to have yet another generation of students with whom to share
this place and the experiences gained here. Only a few
will chose this life as his or her own, but every participant
will take home something special from this unique project.
we supervise the excavation of four brand new trenches atop the
arx. Trench PC41 promises to produce exciting information
about the range of occupation periods at Poggio Colla.
Our crew has already exposed the north wall of the Phase III
courtyard, part of the last significant occupation of the site.
In the coming weeks we will expose and record earlier evidence
of settlement, reaching back beyond 2500 year before present.
Crew, Sara, Emily, Rachel, Ross, and Robert are already beginning
to grow as archaeologists, individual strengths blooming, confidence
and excitement waxing. Middle Earth is prepared for an
of Trench PC 41 during Week 3
Turley (standing) supervising his PC 41 Trench Team during Week
Colla Veteran Laura Proud Smith with PC 41 find
and below: PC 41 Trench Team completing a level during Week 4
Jess Galloway and student Rachel Fox discus
definition of foundation stones for survey and drawings
for photography of this level
cut rectangular stones revealed below stones of a later phase
triangulating points for field notebook drawings of this level
in PC 41
field season at Poggio Colla has come to an end. Bonds
formed between individuals here never cease to amaze me.
Not so very long before this writing, a group of strangers came
together not knowing what to expect; now, many will leave as
lifelong friends and colleagues. Students who were green
and uncertain mere weeks ago are now confident excavators, some
of whom will continue down the path of archaeology. We’ve
enjoyed sharing our site and knowledge with these individuals
and hope they bring home with them an increased excitement for
and love of this small piece of our shared human heritage.
41 Trench Team at Season's End
units across the site produced many exciting discoveries that
will enhance our knowledge of Etruscan settlement in the Mugello
Valley. The crew of PC41 has unearthed three phases of
architecture (seen in the group photograph) that span much of
the history of Poggio Colla. To reveal all three phases
of wall foundations in a single trench is an event of extreme
rarity here, having happened only once before at Poggio Colla.
Careful excavation of these elements has given our researchers
an unprecedented opportunity to assess how the hilltop was shaped
over the course of many centuries.
generally the case in archaeology, the season has ended with
a tantalizing glimpse of what awaits below. Just beneath
our earliest stone wall we have begun to discover an almost unbelievable
amount of bucchero pottery, arguably the most famous
ceramic tradition of the Etruscans. This black ceramic,
encased in black sediments, must wait another year before coming
to the surface. Perhaps some of this year’s students
will return to play a role in their recovery.
Colla staff is ever thankful for the hard work put in by all
of the 2010 field school students. I am particularly grateful
to the crew of PC41. None of the success we’ve seen
this year would have been possible without their dedication and
perseverance. The peoples of Middle Earth now part ways
and return into the West as friends. Be well and keep in
PC 41 cookie break
Field Supervisor Cameron Turley
Turley and his buckets, photo by Molly Palmison
photo of Trench PC 41, from south
Final photo of Trench PC 41, from east
Detail, final photo of Trench PC 41, from east
Final photo of Trench PC 41, from north
Final photo of Trench PC 41, from west