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Daily Logs

26 July 2016


Excavation began in Locus 5 and Locus 7 . In Locus 7 the tile and pottery packing was swept and photographed, then removed. In Locus 5 , pick axes were used to loosen soil, which was then shovelled and sorted into wheelbarrows in which tile and pottery were removed and then sorted into bowls and boxes, respectively. A carbon layer was exposed in the western meters of Locus 5 , and this was exposed and scrapped down. This layer likely corresponds to VT12' s Locus 6, which was excavated separately. At the time of its excavation the layer of this deposit was higher, its northern extent reached VT12's northern trench line, which shared with VT11. Two finds were exposed in this area: a cover tile of full width that was unusually small, and a fragment of ridgepole tile. Within this soil which was a sandy-clay mix of medium density and medium brown colour, fragment inclusions of tile were found, as well as pottery, mostly coarseware andimpasto, as well as rare inclusions of fine impasto. Within the same area, a fragment



of partially vitrified terracotta was also found. Excavation of this area was carried out in tandem with VT12's Locus 5 which consists of the contamination of the VT11's Locus 5 to the south along the entire E-W width of VT12 's Locus 5. The form of these appear to be the fill of a cut made in the centre of VT12 and the centre of VT11, each of which forms the southern and northern boundaries, respectively. This cut also continued in VT12 and VT13 , also respectively. The rock feature (VT11 Locus 6 ) lies slightly north of the centre of this cut, and the edge of the cut and the wall appear to run N.NW to S.SE and in parallel to one another. Within VT13 , these appear to be a right angle in the feature, which is bonded to the rock feature in VT11. Meanwhile, in the course of the removal of the tile and pottery packing in VT11 Locus 7 , a fragment of architectural terracotta was found, in the middle of which appears a palmette-like design. It appears to be moulded.

Find #1

Cover Tile

Locus 5




Ridgepole Tile

Locus 5



Find #3

Partly Vitrified Terracotta

Locus 5



(2 pieces)

Find #4

Architectural Terracotta

Locus 7



Find #5

Loom Weight Fragment

Locus 7



Find #6

Fine Impasto: Full Profile

Locus 7



(2 pieces)

Find #7

Large Storage Vessel

Locus 7



Find #8

Fine Black-Gloss Rim

Locus 5



Find #9

Multiple Bone Fragments

Locus 5




Find #10

Curved Tile

Locus 7



Find #11

Fineware Impasto Handle (3 pieces)

Locus 7



Find #12

Painted Brazier Rim

Locus 7




Owing to the discovery of the carbon deposit in Locus 5 and in VT12 it was decided to declare the whole feature a new locus in each trench. In VT11 this will be Locus 8 and in VT12 it will be the previously identified Locus 6 . The locus consists of a roughly rectangular patchy carbon deposit roughly 2cm in depth. It extends around 1m south of the linear stone feature in an east-west direction across most of the trenches but become lighter and not visible around 1.5m from the east section wall.

Drawing of trench with Locus 8 .

As Locus 8 is a carbon fill feature of no great depth we will excavate it immediately consequently it will have the same opening and closing coordinates and elevations.

Locus 8 Opening/Closing

1. 4.00S/18.68W, 304.21mASL

2. 3.5S/18.65W, 304.11mASL

3. 3.32S/17.04W, 304.09mASL

4. 3.52S/16.61W, 304.12mASL

(see on p.253)

Meanwhile in Locus 7 , a 1m sounding was opened in the eastern extent in order to expose the baulk wall and, consequently, greater evidence of the formation problems of Locus 4 , Locus 5 , Locus 6, and Locus 7 , and the relationships between these loci. This sounding revealed that the decomposing well-compacted rock of Locus 4 appears to have been cut deeply, and almost at a perpendicular angle. The rock features and fill layers to the north and south that appear to be subsequent additions. The fill of Locus 7 in particular appears

to be filled with frequent inclusions of pottery, tile, and the occasional small stone of the same kind as many of the rocks that compose the rock feature. Along the northern face of the rock feature ( Locus 6 ), there appears to be a significant amount of pottery immediately against the wall. However, one of the largest stones appears to be unsupported (aside from soil), which may suggest that it was shifted from its original position. It has been left in place for the moment. If this is the case, it is possible that other stones have also shifted possibly in the course of the formation of the uppermost locus, and that these accounted for the slightly curved appearance of Locus 6 , the hypothesised wall. It now appears that this is likely the case, this feature continues from VT9 into VT11 and the VT13 in a linear fashion now that the lower courses are in the process of being exposed.

Meanwhile in Locus 5 . ,more excavation was carried out using the same methodology as detailed this morning, as well as in Locus 8 , the carbon rich feature within Locus 5 .

Find #13

Fineware Profile

Locus 5




Find #14

Slipped Impasto Rim

Locus 5



Following further excavation in Locus 5 a number of finds were recovered from the linear stone feature.

Supplemental Find #1

Fenestrated Impasto Rim Sherd

Locus 7



Supplemental Find #2

Potential Architectural Terracotta

Locus 7



Closing Totals

Locus 5

Tile and Plaster: 22 bowls

Pottery: 242 sherds

Bone: 9 fragments

Locus 7

Tile and Plaster: 13 bowls

Pottery: 272 sherds

Bone: 5 fragments

Supplemental Find #3

Potential Architectural Terracotta (?)

Locus 7



Supplemental Find #4

Architectural Terracotta

Locus 5



Supplemental Find #15

Unusual Terracotta

Locus 5



26 July 2016

Supplemental Entry

On Sunday July 24 th an associated sounding to VT11 was opened 2m to the north of trench. It measured 3x1ms and was parallel to VT11, save for the eastern most meter. It was opened to investigate if materials that comprise the fill from Locus 7 in VT11, and the broader fill along the north of the linear stone feature was apparent there.

To this end we dropped the sounding some 70cm below the fill used to construct the tennis court. Once through this we hit the yellow-grey soil identical to Locus 4 . As no other materials were recovered we concluded there was no further need to continue in this area.

The sounding is being documented as Locus 9 .

Supplemental Find #6

Partially Vitrified Ceramic Handle

Locus 5



Supplemental Find #7

Painted Tile

Locus 5



Supplemental Find #8

Architectural Terracoatta

Locus 5



Locus 9

Coordinates and Opening Elevations

1. (N.E.) 14.67W/4.02N 305.17mASL

2. (S.E.) 14.57W/3.04N 305.18mASL

3. (S.W.) 17.51W/2.46N 305.18mASL

4. (N.W.) 17.71W/3.42N 305.18mASL

Closing Elevations

1. (N.E.) 304.74mASL

2. (S.E.) 304.66mASL

3. (S.W.) 304.67mASL

4. (N.W.) 304.69mASL

Closing Totals ( Locus 9 )

Tile and Plaster: 1/20 th bowl tile



Drawing of excavation area

Property or Relation Value(s)
Temporal Coverage
[Standard: Dublin Core Terms]
Editorial Note

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Suggested Citation

Eóin M. O'Donoghue. "VT 11 (2016-07-26):238-265; Daily Log from Italy/Vescovado di Murlo/Upper Vescovado/Vescovado 11/2016, ID:718/Locus 4". (2017) In Murlo. Anthony Tuck (Ed.) . Released: 2017-10-04. Open Context. <>

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Managing editor reviewed

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