Field Reports from the end of the 2000 Field Season
Gregory Warden

Week 5 August , 2000:

Greg Warden and Kathy Windrow after a Poggio Colla photo shoot.

I have been procrastinating. Our webmaster, Kathy Windrow, is busy concocting our latest web update and has repeatedly reminded me that I am past the deadline for submissions, but I have put off the writing of my report until the last possible minute, 11 PM on Wednesday, August 2. The updated weekly reports will be put on the web early tomorrow morning. The reason for my dilatory behavior is not laziness, nor can I claim the burden of an overtaxed schedule in this penultimate week of excavation. The reason I have dithered is in the hope that I might have some good news from Trench PC 18, or at least some kind of explanation of what we are finding there. I do not have such an explanation. There are moments when I feel certain that we are closing in on a tomb, and others when I feel that it’s one of the most confusing contexts I’ve ever seen. The good news is that Michael Thomas is turning up some spectacular, very early decorated pottery. What it all means will have to await further excavation.

Trench PC 18 with pit feature in background
and bucchero vessel fragments in foreground.

The news from Trench PF 5 in the Podere Funghi is quite spectacular. The walls of the new building are large and deep; it must have been quite an impressive structure, not the mean little farm building we had imagined. Just today Robert Belanger and his crew turned up a beautiful, circular hearth near the area where they had found some interesting concentrations of cooking ware (makes sense). This area will take several years to excavate but it has great promise.

Circular hearth in Trench PF 5.

Trench PC 20 continues to produce wonderful pottery. Particularly dramatic was the excavation of a bucchero chalice last Friday. The vase has already been restored by our talented conservator, Won Ng, and looks quite handsome (the inside border is decorated with a lightly impressed reticulate pattern). What is particularly important is that this pottery comes from an undisturbed early stratum, a rarity at our site. There is more important news from this trench. Under the northern (later) terrace wall we have found an upside-down molded podium block. This will be important evidence for the destruction (and reutilization) of the earlier monumental structures at the site.

Bucchero chalice in Trench PC 20. See also Conservation Week 5.

Upside-down podium block in Trench PC 20 is near the bottom of the photo.

The architectural bounty continues in Trench PC 19 where Sarah Kupperberg has found some truly interesting walls, cavities, and worked blocks. It’s beginning to look more and more like a cistern, but we will have to wait until next year, I’m afraid, to know for certain. Even Trench PC 21, which was supervised until recently by Margaret Woodhull and is now being run by Laura Proud, has turned up a series of fascinating post holes.

Worked Phase 2 sandstone blocks visible in the cavity just
outside and below the Phase 3 foundation wall of Trench PC 19.

Trench PC 21 post holes, one at the top
and the other at the bottom of the photo.

This penultimate week is living up to its promise; like an autumnal harvest rich with the bounty of a fruitful season, the harvest of information and fascinating finds begins to mount and become meaningful. Now we will need to pull it together and understand its meaning, but for this task we will have a winter and a spring.

Krista Farber, Prajna Desai, and Jess Galloway hover over Justin Winkler
as he works to remove the bucchero chalice from Trench PC 20.


Week 6 August , 2000:


Greg Warden and Robert Belanger discuss the season's
discoveries in Trench PF 5 during final trench tours.

It has been a spectacularly successful season. We have learned a great deal and found a great deal of material: new architecture and ceramics as well as more exotic items. We are learning more about the early phases of habitation at the site (PC 18, 20, and possibly 21) as well as of the later, Hellenistic phase (PC 19 and PF 5). It will take time to process the new information. One thing that is clear at this point is that the site is vast (we have discovered traces of Etruscan habitation across the Sieve valley), that the scope of the project is ever growing larger, and that we will have to formulate a broader research design for future years, one that may incorporate other researchers and institutions.

Greg Warden photographing catalogued finds from the 2000 season.

As usual we are in a last-minute frenzy to pack away our material, close the trenches, vacate the rental houses. This is not a time for careful consideration of the new knowledge we have gained in this exceptional season—in some ways the most exceptional season we have had at Poggio Colla. I will write a final report for this season’s web page, one that summarizes the results in more detail, when I return to Dallas next week.

Backfilling trenches on the arx at Poggio Colla.


Director's Diary

Field Director's Diary

Trench PF 5

Trench PC 18

Trench PC 19

Trench PC 20

Trench PC 21

Conservator's Reports

Student Diaries