2010 TRENCH PC 41
Field Supervisor: Cameron Turley, Southern Methodist University


 Opening Report    Final Report

Cameron Turley observes progress in his trench


Opening Report:

Once again 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.

This season 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.

The PC41 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 exceptional season.


View of Trench PC 41 during Week 3


Cameron Turley (standing) supervising his PC 41 Trench Team during Week 4


Poggio Colla Veteran Laura Proud Smith with PC 41 find


Above and below: PC 41 Trench Team completing a level during Week 4


Architect Jess Galloway and student Rachel Fox discus
definition of foundation stones for survey and drawings


Sweeping for photography of this level


Carefully cut rectangular stones revealed below stones of a later phase


Students triangulating points for field notebook drawings of this level in PC 41



Final Report:


The 2010 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.

PC 41 Trench Team at Season's End

Excavation 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.

As is 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.

The Poggio 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 touch, kids.


Trench PC 41 cookie break

Field Supervisor Cameron Turley


Cameron Turley and his buckets, photo by Molly Palmison


Final 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