Extensions and excavation of Tesoro Trench 15 was continued in 1971 to expose any further portion of a semicircular stone feature found in the north-east corner of the T15 of 1970, and to identify the character of the feature. As was expected, the excavation of the trench proceeded through the same earth fill layers as were encountered in the grids of 1970 - A - humus with very worn artifacts - mainly tiles and a few frieze plaque fragments; B - a thick white-yellowish clay layer, presumably composed of the destoryed mud-brick walls of the sanctuary, and full of small stones with tiles and coarse impasto sherds, etc.; C, a layer of black earth, presumably indicating material from a phase or area destroyed by burning, and containing numerous atrifacts (here, none of patricularly rich character) and D, a layer of disturbed clay just above the yellow, hard galestra layer C where it rested over the stone feature being exposed was a slightly lighter brown instead of rich black, but seemed to contain the same (large) amount of artifacts.
As found in other parts of that layer - it seems possible that the color difference is in part at least due to leeching or other climatic action in the soil, rather than to any actual difference in strata or even some part of lens above the feature.
The stone feature appeared at first exposure as a rough, circular area of stones, and as it was excavated, was clarified as a large well - a cylindrical pit which widened only slightly toward its bottom, set with very thick walls of 2 to 3 concentric rows of rough limestone rocks of varying sizes with layers of earth (disturbed clay-from galestra) between them, and with a central round hole. The hole had very well set regular sides, the stones composing it having been cut with flat straight edges on the inner side; it was not set exactly vertically, but while remaining round and well defined, "drifted" slightly to the north as it deepened. When first excavated to its bottom, which was roughly rounded, and composed of clay (galestra) only, the well filled to a depth of 22 cm. with water - this was clearly the original purpose of the feature, since fresh water runs off the irregular bedrock which surfaces at the northern side of the well and slopes steeply down to the south.
It was expected that if the feature was a well, it would be full of artifacts, but this was not the case - there were no indications of any extended period of use, such as wear on the feature, a pavement, or habitation level, or any large amount of artifacts. It would seem that the well was only used for a short period of time (represented only by coarse impasto sherds and tiles, possibly those of the earlier sanctuary).
it is uncertain why this should have been discontinued unless the water supply was not sufficient or suitable here - or the need for it ceased. it is possible that this well is in an area of habitation, as suggested by large quantities of sherds, supported by the finds of T6 A and B and possibly indicated by the stone feature exposed in the southern end of 1970's T15, which may be a house foundation. The domestic character of this area is to be investigated at a future time, when more wells may be found here or farther down the slope.
A final note may be the indication in the trench walls of several soil distrubances noticeable as depressions of, especially, layers B and C. These are probably the root disturbances of fruit trees which were at some time after the final destruction of the site planted in regular staggered rows on thsi part at least of Tesoro.
Further excavation may clarify this; fruit growing would suggest one reason why the site was not frequently and deeply plowed after its destruction and why its shallow soil deposits have not been more disturbed. the lack of indication in the existing terrain, or even the fill levels above the well of such a deep feature being below was certainly surprising, but perhaps not irregular, since hole inside was small and filled probably quickly with earth.
Successive plans and sections of Pozzo and T15 trench walls to be inserted - architect's copies not yet available - August 13, 1971.
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