Today, the students of Podere Cannicci split into two groups, both setting to work on understanding and removing Contexts 75 and 77, the raw floors that were discovered last week.
During the removal of Context 75, the students discovered a grey circle defined by ash and charcoal, perhaps a posthole, just to the east of the corner formed by the tile walls 68 and 76. This feature has been documented and will be excavated tomorrow morning, at which time we will understand better its function and relation to the carbonized beam, Context 74.
The second group began to remove Context 77; this floor, however, proved thicker than expected and will be uncovered in the coming days. Simultaneously, one student, Callie, investigated a patch of charcoal, Context 78, that had been identified at the end of last week. In fully removing the charcoal, Callie’s labor revealed that 78 was indeed the fill of a cut, now labelled Context 79, and was embedded within Context 77’s compact clay. The fill contained substantial amounts of slag as well as some ceramics. Although this feature may have been related to the activities of the furnace located directly to the east, the depth of the cut has led the team to diverse hypotheses of its purpose; we hope to better understand the feature by the end of Context 77’s removal.
Partway into our efforts, the Cannicci team was also visited by two external archaeologists staying nearby, who helped us to begin to remove the final raw floor, Context 70, and to reveal the expanding reddish-brown soil beneath. This effort will likewise be completed in the coming days.
All three lines of investigation have promised to uncover another phase of life in Area 1. Indeed, the zone has proven to be richer than previously believed, and we are hopeful that, by the end of the season, we will better understand the activities and experiences of those who once labored in the valley.