Sweltering heat presented a singular challenge for the crew working at Podere Cannicci today. In order to make the best use of hours under the sun, the teams decided to join forces and work as a unit.
For the first half of the day, the crew’s common task was the removal of what remained of the stratigraphic layer in an L-shaped hump spanning the western side of the site across Rooms I, V and the drain (Context 36). The group troweled with true grit under the midday sun to reveal the next context in Room I, which was strewn with roof tiles and characterized by charcoal black and red soil. As Dr. Vanni notes, this combination of colors suggests a ‘lived in’ space, possibly a domestic space for cooking. The wall abutting Room I and Room V was articulated and its edges smoothed. A portion of the team also articulated a layer of pebbles in Room V and exposed the extension of walls 49 and 50, composing the southernmost drain of the site. Once this work is done, the team can proceed to document the emerging context and continue excavating in days to come.
In the afternoon, after recording some of the topographic features of the excavation with an optical instrument for land surveying, the crew moved to Area 1000, again working as a unit. In a similar effort to that of the morning, the team removed a stratum of roof tiles within Context 2 – likely the remains of a roof collapse. While this context had been thoroughly excavated earlier in the week revealing, among other finds, the impressive remains of a number of dolia (the standard earthenware vessel from Roman times for storage and transportation), there was definitely still more work to be done. Since Tuesday, a couple of new trenches adjoining Area 1000 have greatly expanded the surface of the upper context. The already partly excavated layers now have to be leveled out. This ongoing task was begun today. Further, Betsy found a coin in the tile layer.
It was certainly a rough day for all given temperatures pushing 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Site supervisors attest to how hard everyone worked, encouraging one another to persist in making some meaningful progress for the day: “the kids just kept chugging anyway!”