Field Reports from the end of the 1999 Field Season
Michael Thomas

Report 4: July 23

Michael Thomas (right) instructs Robert Belanger (left) on shovel test survey procedure.

As we near the end of our fifth season of excavation, I can say with confidence that it has been a successful summer. We just have a few days of excavation left, as our final few days in Vicchio are spent drawing, photographing, and backfilling.

The building on the arx continues to surprise us. Although most of the walls in Trenches 13 and 14 are where we expected them to be, they seem to be undulating. In fact, the varying elevation of our "second" phase wall between Trenches 13 and 14, may be evidence of other building phases. In Trench 17, Richard Marius continues to find loom weights and rocchetti in the floor packing of our third phase. Sarah Kupperberg apparently has blocks from three different phases in her Trench 15. As usual, even though we are continuing to discover more and more about our site, we continue to discover new questions. This is especially true with our building on the arx.

In addition to the excavation of the building, I am busy with several other aspects of our excavation. Our friend Andrea Santoni, while descending from the hill, discovered several significant pottery fragments in an area that had been washed out from recent rains. One area revealed several possibly early fragments from what we believe may have been a pozzo tomb. Last Saturday we had to start an "emergency" excavation area in order to salvage what we believed to be an important context. The urgency of this project was magnified by the fact that our possible tomb happened to be in the middle of a road that gets occasional tractor traffic. We thus opened the 1x1 meter Trench 18. Under my supervision, I have entrusted the excavation of this trench to Rob Belanger, one of our assistant trench supervisors and best excavators. Rob has passed with flying colors!

This week Mark Corney, a landscape archaeologist and good friend, has arrived for a week of survey. I will fill you in on Mark’s visit in the final report.

Report 5: July 30

As one would expect at the end of an excavation season, the last few days are quite hectic. We begin backfilling tomorrow, and are busily trying to finish final documentation of the site. We have had spectacular finds during the last days of excavation. Today we discovered that two beautiful examples of bucchero--a rim and wall of a chalice and a lid stamped with griffins--actually go together. I‘ll have a lot more news within a few days when I have more time to write.

Michael Thomas studies the site plan while students and staff take the final trench tour.

Field Reports from the end of the 1999 Field Season

Director's Diary

Trench PC 13

Trench PC 14

Trench PC 15

Trenches PC 16 & 17

Trench PC 18

Trenches PF 2 & PF 3

Conservator's Report

Student Diary

After December 2000, see the 1999 Annual Report for the season summary by Professor Gregory Warden.