Open Context

Final Summary

Trenchmaster Observations

Though the entire perimeter of the building in T-26 1982, 1983 was not ascertained this season, all the baulks left up last year were removed and this assisted in determining the extent of the "terracotta/mortar" floor discovered last year and again this year.

Imbedded into this "floor" are 21 known column bases (stone bsaes).  The row of 10 column bases along the northern part of the "floor" may have smaller stones to the north of each base.  At least 4 of these smaller stones have been uncovered and it is not known at the moment whether these stones are also to the north of the other 6 column bases.  Stone column bases which extend westwards in line with thos in U-W/82-77 were not uncovered in alpha-gamma, 71-65, though further excavation of this area may be required.

Concerning the "floor"

It is thought that in antiquity, the "floor" did extend over the entire area excavated in T-26 1982, 1983, with the possible exception of meters M,N-77-82.  It should be realized, however, that the "floor" is not preserved over this entire area today.  There are apparently random breaks in the "floor" which are thought to be due to erosion by water as it seeped down the southern slope of Piano del Tesoro.  Note that this "floored" building is situated along the southeastern edge of Piano del Tesoro.

The "floor" was not encountered in meters beta,gamma-71-66 but where "floor" was preserved in the meters immediately north of these, it was fragile, not very thick, and generally broken in many places.  Because beta,gamma-71-66 lie in direct line with the southernmost row of stone column bases (in U-W, 82-77) and because these meters are where Piano del Tesoro begins to slope southward, it is thought that "floor" once existed here, but has eroded away.

Note, however, that some stone column

bases were not found in these meters.

Meters R-W/62-64 and RST/65-73, where heavy plaster layers were encountered and then left in place last year, were found to contain "floor" also.  In R-W/62-64, much of what was thought to be a heavy plaster layer is now thought to be soft "floor."  The softening of the "floor" makes the task of distinguishing it from plaster difficult, and it is now believed that mcuh of the dark, black "soil" encountered in RST/65-73 was burnt floor which was inadvertantly lifted to expose a stone packing in S,T-65-69.

Apparently, the "floor" was laid upon a packing of small stones.  A dark black layer in R-67-68 which was lifted is now thought to be burnt, softened "floor." A dark black layer in beta-64, beneath and around a stump in this meter, is also thought to be burnt floor.  Again, this black material was partially removed inadvertantly.

The 1983 extension of T-26 held a dense concentratoin of trees and shrubs before the area was cleared and the beginning of this season.  Unfortunately, during the removal of stumps in T-26 1983, a number of areas where the "floor" was found to exist were damaged by the pick axe.  Moreover, the roots of these trees and shrubs often penetrated beneath the "floor," weakening it considerably.

One final note concerning the "floor" is now presented.  The meters surrounding the column base in Q/77, i.e. P-76-78, were taken to a level that brings these meters to the same depth as the bottom of the column base in Q/77.  It is thought that here the "floor" has been dug through since the bottom of the column base can be see, and because the stratigraphy visible in the southern face of the meter O/76 shows a definite red layer which may be soft "floor" that was mistaken for plaster  Additionally, "floor" appears to exist at a higher level in P,Q-74-75.

Also, recall that this same dark red soil was encountered and lifted last year in meters O-80-82 (see

MT VI, p. 145 ).  This may have been soft "floor." It is not presently clear whether "floor" is now preserved in these meters, but it is thought that there sohuld have been "floor" here due to the close proximity of the stone column bases in meters O/P-80 and N/O-82.  A definite stone packing exists over most of MNO-77-82 upon which rests a thick concentration of tiles, most in large fragments.  It appears that the tiles lie directly upon the stone packing, and therefore the "floor"may not have existed above this stone packing.  This will become more clear when the tiles are lifted, perhaps during the 1984 season.


Mention should be made of the unfired cover tiles in S-W/70-73 and X-71.  Most of these unfired cover tiles were discovered last year in U-W/71-73 though they were found to extend to the north and south this year.

The important features of these tiles are the fact that they were laid, neatly, side by side upon the floor when leather hard.  They are very thin and fragile, and they contain a number of bare footprints but almost no impressions from fallen roof tiles.  The unfired cover tiles discovered this year in S-T/70-73 were not completely exposed, but all portions which were exposed were painted with ~15% PVA/H20 emlusion.  There may be more of these unfired cover tiles in O/81-82.

Three areas of heavy tile concentrations have been discovered; two outside the northern row of column bases and possibly from a fallen roof, and another concentration apparently between column bases in alpha-beta/61-59.  These tile concentrations have been left in place.  (Note that the concentration in RST/62-64 may have extended to the east but was inadvertantly lifted - see MT VI p. 197 )

Most of the tile found this year was slightly above or resting upon the "floor" and nearly complete or complete pan tiles were ound resting upon the floor directly in meters W/62, U/65, U/67-68, and R/73-74.  These have not been lifted but remain in place.  Also directly or slightly

above the floor, there was a higher concentration of plaster.  Occasionally large chunks of carbonized wood would also be found.

Finally note that again this year, a large amount of vitrified terracotta and tiles (possibly misfired) along with amorphous terracotta lumps were found.  This seems indicative of a kiln area nearby, possibly directly to the southwest of this building, down the slope of Piano del Tesoro.

Much of the pottery found was fineware (fine bucchero, grayware, fine orangeware), though the vast majority was utilitarian impasto, coarseware, and orangeware.  Pithos fragments continued to be found this year.

-- M. H. Tobey

17 July 1983

Photos continued.
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Suggested Citation

Mark Tobey. "MT VIII (1983-07-17):374-392; Final Summary from Italy/Poggio Civitate/Tesoro/Tesoro 26/1983, ID:116". (2017) In Murlo. Anthony Tuck (Ed.) . Released: 2017-10-04. Open Context. <>

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