Podere Cannicci – Final day (June 17, 2022)

Eventually, the last day of this amazing excavation campaign in Podere Cannicci has arrived. With sadness and excitement the Cannicci team checked and completed the last bits of documentation work before laying down the tarp on the exposed contexts, in order to preserve them from the elements. But this is not a goodbye. Much has been unearthed of the workshop area in Podere Cannicci and much more is still to be discovered! For many students this year has just been the beginning of a new path of formation, the first step of a jurney into the core of the archaeological work and thinking. The Impero Project want to say thank you to all the students who made this possible, once again.
They had the chance to practice their skill with material culture by taking part to all the stages of management of findings from the field.
They proved themself to be able to successfully apply stratigraphy, take part to the actual excavation work and documentation, mastering the many different tools of the archaeologist.
For those of them that will decide to continue their path into archaeology, the new phase unearthed in Podere cannicci will be waiting for their passion.

Though the excavation has come to an end, the work does not stop here. The new materials and the records from the excavations have to be processed into information. The Impero Project team will start immediately.

Castellaraccio di Monteverdi – Final day (June 17, 2022)

Last day of work at Castellaraccio for the 2022 campaign. Very early in the morning, Federico and Marta came to take the last pictures with the drone and some final points to have the perfect light. During normal working hours, our small team dedicated their time to completing any possible missing documentation (context sheets, photographs, journal), bringing back the tools, and covering the excavated areas to protect them until our next campaign.

This has been an exciting campaign. Our small, specialized group was 100% focused on Area 2000 to excavate as much as possible of that room and obtain a complete picture of the stratigraphy of one of the castle’s buildings. The objective was only partially achieved. We still have some contexts to excavate before reaching the bedrock, but at least we have all the room exposed with the contexts all in phase. We underestimated the extent of the collapse and roots that we still needed to remove to reach the northern edge of the area, which delayed some work.
Nonetheless, the results are fascinating. We confirmed the extension of context 37 to the whole room and exposed a second fireplace/burned beam in the north-western corner of the room. We revealed the rest of context 55 in the northern part of the room. We explored the series of grey yellowish circular or semi-circular cuts. We hoped they could represent sealed granaries, but we yet have found no proof. We also started excavating the series of cuts identified in the old west-east wall 84 to better understand the stratigraphy there. Still, there was no time to fully explore this option.

The campaign was also rich in finds with the recovery of two rings, two knife blades, an arrowhead, and many new potteries for our Benedetta to study. We also recovered an incredible amount of environmental finds (seeds), which will be analysed by our specialist (an archaeobotanist).

This combination of finds poses further questions, especially for the oldest phases. The presence of charred seeds and a possible working surface (the big stone 97) make us think of a storage room of some sort. However, the presence of jewellery (even if in copper-alloy) and of the arrowhead may point in another direction or suggest a more complex picture which will be hopefully clear when the room is fully excavated.

As always, it is hard to leave the site and the people, we would all love to stay just for another week, continuing our work and enjoying the wonderful atmosphere and hospitality of Monteverdi and Paganico. Still, all things need to end at some point. The site will be there waiting for us next year and Monteverdi will be ready to welcome any students that will eventually decide to come back.

See you the next season!

A second unexpected surprise from Podere Cannicci

It may happen that while finishing the documentation of the excavation season, the diligent work in the material culture lab can provide some extra surprises.

During the removal and sampling of the soil from one black gloss vessel from Podere Cannicci, a second vessel was found inside. After the proper study and analysis of the object, we will provide more information about it!

Castellaraccio di Monteverdi – Day 17 (June 16, 2022)

This morning Benedetta proceeded with the removal of the soil inside the cut 71, with a high quantity of charred seeds. The other members of the team started cleaning the whole area in preparation for the closure of the excavation tomorrow.
In the afternoon we proceeded and finished the cleaning of the Areas 2000 and 3000; tomorrow we aim at producing photo documentation of the building and prepare the areas for the necessary covering for the winter.

The season almost ends!

Day trip – Visit to Potentino

As the field school is coming to an end, today part of the team was able to visit our friends and colleagues at the Castle of Potentino. Here, a team directed by Prof. Gregory Warden is working on reconstructing the environment of the valley, its cultural heritage, and the historical occupation of one of the most suggestive places in Tuscany.

Ours students were able to have a first look at their research and to exchange different approaches to archaeology.

Castellaraccio di Monteverdi – Day 16 (June 15, 2022)

Today Benedetta and Cleo focused on removing the filling of two cuts located in the southwest part of area 2000 ( Contexts 71, 75=78) while Michelle removed context 49 from the N-W corner of area 2000.
Ryan finished removing context 123 and cleaned all the trench in area 3000. After, he gave a context number (126) to a reddish layer located in the southeast half of the trench.

Paolo Alberto and a friend of his came to help us and they found some iron nails and an elaborated ring with a bezel.

Podere Cannicci – Day 16 (June 15, 2022)

These are the last few days of work in Podere Cannicci for this year. And today was the last day of actual excavation before starting the final cleaning and documentation phase. Documenting everything in the smallest detail is vital to archaeological research: this strengthens the scientific reliability of our work and allows other scholars in the future to be able to reconstruct and understand our work of today. Because Archaeology is destructive.
This is why we need to accurately record all we do during the fieldwork. Maps, drawing, photographs, journals, topography tools, drones: these are all instruments to create a massive and reliable documentation of the actions of in the past.
Today the students removed the last layers, one of which was a square pit that revealed to be a fire pit. Then they prepared the site for the final documentation. They will now learn step by step how to create a complete record for closing a successful archaeological excavations.

The cistern at Podere Cannicci – Day 3 (June 15, 2022)

Today our group was engaged both at Cannicci and at the cistern. At the cistern we cleaned portions of the cocciopesto located outside the structure. Some of these pieces are not in place, and we tried to figure out the magnitude and where they could be originally placed. We also made drawings and made measurements of the interior of the cistern. After cleaning part of the interior, a large block of stone inside the cistern is now visible, most likely what remains of a pillar to sustain the vault.
We’re ready for mapping the structure tomorrow morning!

Podere Cannicci – Day 15 (June 14, 2022)

The team at Area 1 continued excavations to reveal a potential next phase of occupation. The complete removal of Context 60 revealed a beautiful working floor filled with red, orange and white ash colors. In the process of removing Context 60, five new contexts were revealed including a possible base for a work bench, the second forge (already revealed but now cleaned), a smashed pot presumably for storage, and another potential raw floor. The afternoon consisted of cleaning the site and documenting the new Contexts appropriately as this new layer demonstrates a complex developing story. At the cistern, the team continued excavating and cleaning the site, almost completing the structure for the first time.

The cistern at Podere Cannicci- Day 2 (June 14, 2022)

Second day at the cistern! Today we continued to clean the cistern. Now the limits are all visible, except for the western part, where there are trees which probably caused part of the collapse of the structure. We also entered inside the cistern.
From the inside, we saw that the walls are made of square stone blocks, while the roof of the cistern is made up of a very thick layer of cocciopesto.
Our goal is to finish cleaning the structure and understand how it was built.