Poggio Civitate-The End

Well the end is here again.  I am a little late with last weeks update because I was sick over the weekend, I caught a nasty stomach bug that I am just now getting over (and mom I did tell dad I just don’t know if he read it before going to work).  But never fear I am feeling much better now.

So as my last post mentioned it has been raining a lot here and this has screwed up the plans for excavating in the last week.  I was only up on site for a couple hours on Friday because that was when the stomach bug hit me, but even so my trench couldn’t be excavated till after lunch (and I still had so much soil to move).  Luckily Ann, a fellow trench master, was finished with her trench and took over mine so it could still be excavated even with me being down and out.  Although it was on Friday that they started to uncover new soil which I had spent weeks looking for and it would have been nice if I had been there to see it.

Monday I was feeling well enough to make the trip up on site and excavate, and I was one of 2 trenches still excavating.  I had so many students and moved so much dirt.  It was amazing, I could only image if I had that much help all summer how much I would have gotten done.  But I found at least the extent of my olive-brown soil and was able to close the trench down at a good stopping point for the season.

Monday was also student dinner, and the first day I had an appetite so I was able to enjoy a taste of the dinner.  Actually this year the staff hosted the dinner.  Brian, the dig cook, helped us prepare an amazing spread with an antipasto, 3 pasta courses, a secundi (Florentine Steak), desert and cheese, plus a lot of really good wine (which I excused myself from drinking since I was just feeling better and figured why risk it).  I got to be in charge of the grilling of the steaks and they turned out fantastic.

In the end it was a good thing I was sober because I still have to draw my baulk wall of my trench before the backfill started.  So on Tuesday morning while the students and staff were sleeping off the effects of the wine, I headed up to site to draw my baulk.  It was a really peaceful time.  Tony dropped me off and I just set to work measuring and sketching and munselling.  It took me about an hour to finish and then I put the tarp down in the bottom of my trench and said goodbye to the hill.  I started walking down just as everyone else was getting up there for backfill.  I didn’t backfill since I still had so much documentation to finish up and when you find stuff if your trench the documentation always takes longer.


So what was CB 44 all about this year?  Well we still aren’t sure, this area of excavation is so new to us all that we aren’t sure what is going on any where.  I know that I had a thick layer of archaic period (6th Century BCE) soil over a blue-gray and yellow brown soil (I caught the boundary of the two soils)  There were no foundations to speak of yet, nor deposits.  It seems that my trench was placed over either a natural depression that got fill up during the archaic period or it was an intentional excavation of soil that then got filled up.  I never did find bedrock or a occupation surface, which just means that there is a good chance that CB 44 will be excavated again next year.  But we will just have to wait and see.


Well me trench book is done now, so that means I need to get back to doing stuff for the real world.  Maybe if I have some profound thoughts I will share them here, but if not it has been a lot of fun sharing my experiences digging for the last two months here.  I hope you enjoy it as well and hopefully you will come back here next year when I dig again.


About handyatmurlo

I am a Latin teacher at Regis Jesuit High School. I earned my MA at CU Boulder and my BA at UMass Amherst. I have spent my summers working in Italy as an archaeologist at three different sites. One I have worked at for 10 years at Poggio Civitate at Vescovado di Murlo. I have worked at the Villa of Maxentius in Rome for 2 years, before the project ended. I also spent 2 summers at the FSU excavations in Cosa.
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