Jessica in Italy

Jessica is a senior marketing major, with a minor in art history, who leaves in June for an archaeological dig outside of Vicchio, in the Mugello Valley, as part of SMU-in-Italy: Archaeology. The site is an Etruscan settlement that has been being excavated for about 12 years.

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Day one in the field

On the first day, we were able to “sleep in” until 7 in the morning before heading up to the site. We saw the Podere Funghi, which is where the signs of settlement in the area were first discovered by farmers plowing the field and pulling up pottery. This is where the kilns have been found and where the Keck Geological group will be working with magnetronomy and other survey techniques to test for other finds and architecture below the soil. We then hiked up the mountain to Poggia Colla, where we will be working.

There are four trenches that will be opened this season, including PC32, which was open last year as well. In PC32, they have found a wall as well as what seems to be votive deposits of loom-weights and an upside-down column base that is thought to be part of the ritual destruction of the temple that once stood on the hilltop. This year they will be excavating further to determine the context of the ritual deposits that were found last year and to see if there are more deposits.

Trench PC33 is a new trench this year and it is thought that there may be a continuation of the walls in that trench. The trench supervisor for PC33 is Catherine. PC34, Liz’s trench, is on the north side of the site. On the west side of the site, is Aksel’s trench, PC35, which was under a tile pile that had added up for 14 years.

We spent the first day up on the site moving tile off of trench PC35. Since there was once a building on Poggia Colla, there is an abundance of tile that has been found in excavation. Only the corner tiles and other interesting ones are taken to the lab to be studied – the rest can’t tell us anything new so they are just stacked up.

vignaSunset.jpgAfter work, we had shower time and had a lecture introducing us to Tuscany and the Etruscan culture. We had pizza from a local place that was so yummy while we sat outside and watched the sun set over the vineyard, so beautiful. I absolutely love it here!!

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