Gretchen Meyers, Rollins University, Director of Materials
Ann Steiner, Franklin and Marshall College, Director of Research
Chris White, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Head Conservator
Vanessa Saiz, Conservation Intern
Anne Hooten, Illustrator
Courtney Brasher, Southern Methodist University, Lab Assistant
Director of Materials Gretchen Meyers sorting finds for cataloguing.
Conservator Chris White
and Conservation Intern Vanessa Saiz in the lab.
Report: Gretchen Meyers and Chris White
We are very excited to
begin another season of conservation and research in the archaeological
field lab. We are fortunate that many members of our staff have
returned from past years. Dr. Ann Steiner of Franklin and Marshall
College continues as Director of Research and Dr. Gretchen Meyers
of Rollins College begins her second year as Director of Materials.
Chris White from the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston returns for
a third year as conservator and he is joined by a conservation
intern, Vanessa Saiz. We are also happy to welcome Annie Hooton
from the American School of Classical Studies in Athens as our
Ann Steiner lectures on ceramics to field students in the study
Illustrator Anne Hooten using
a profile gauge to accurately draw a vessel fragment.
This season promises
to be an interesting one, both in terms of new finds from ongoing
excavations and research projects with our archived material.
Our five open trenches this year are continuations of areas excavated
last year and will certainly yield material related to 2004 finds.
Already our conservation team is hard at work on some large coarseware
vessels from PF 15 which were lifted from the ground at the very
end of last season. Continuing excavation in this area is producing
other joining fragments and these unique vessel profiles are
becoming more clear. Similar work is also occurring with this
year's bucchero finds from both PC 20 and PC 27.
Coarseware vessel and stand found at the end of the 2004 season
in PF 15.
Bucchero finds excavated in Trench PC 20 in 2004 and 2005.
We are also very pleased
at the number of research projects being undertaken in our lab
this year. All field school participants are involved in research
groups and are studying various aspects of our archived material.
Each group is overseen by one of the professors on the site.
Dr. Warden is supervising two groups of students: one group examining
the bucchero finds in PC 20 from 3 seasons of excavation, including
this one; the other group is examining the contents of an ancient
pit from PC 23. Dr. Thomas is working on numismatics with a third
group of students. Dr. Steiner and her Franklin and Marshall
students are conducting a study of the standardization of sizes
of fineware pottery and Dr. Meyers and students from Rollins
College are working on a typology of roof tiles from both Poggio
Colla and Podere Funghi. Other visiting professors to the site
are working with students as well, including Dr. Rob Sternberg
of Franklin and Marshall who is conducting a geophysical survey
of the site and Lynn Makowski who has two students working on
paleobotany with her.
Meyers, Jess Galloway, and Rollins College students in roof tile
Vanessa Saiz and Isaac Weaver
studying pottery from the Podere Funghi midden.
Finally, we have moved
the conservation lab and research space to a new location, closer
to our housing facilities. Therefore we are able to easily spend
time with the material and we look forward to the productivity
that such proximity brings!
Illustrator Anne Hoote and Conservators Vanessa Saiz and Chris
Lab Assistant Courtney Brasher measuring coarseware for catalogue.
Some of Anne Hooten's illustrations.
Director of Materials, Gretchen
Meyers, enters catalogue data.
Conservation Final Report
- Gretchen Meyers, Rollins College:
It has been another busy
season in the Archaeological Materials and Conservation Lab!
We have worked on a number
of new projects, aimed at promoting research and analysis of
our material in preparation for publication, and as usual have
maintained our conservation, archival and documentary procedures
for new finds from this season's campaign. Over 600 individual
finds were made in the field by trench supervisors, and 245 of
these objects have been entered into our catalog-a task that
could never have been completed without our lab assistant, Courtney
Brasher. New finds such as the inscribed base and bronze figurine
are particularly noteworthy, but we have also encountered many
previously unseen shapes, profiles and methods of decorative
enhancement in our bucchero and impasto ceramics which promise
to be the subject of exciting future research.
Volunteer Antonio Fabbri and Courtney Brasher photographing finds.
In terms of conservation,
this season's activities have brought a variety of materials
and challenges to the conservation staff. Chris White and Vanessa
Sáiz Gómez have both worked hard to re-assemble
large coarseware vessels found in PF 15 in 2004. The discovery
of the sandstone objects in PC 27, most especially the inscribed
statue base, required significant time and skill by Chris in
treatment. Vanessa's work on several complete or nearly-complete
vessels has provided the excavators with valuable information
for their research. As is normal, the greatest amount of time
was devoted to the treatment of the copper alloy finds and bucchero
Conservator Chris White.
Vanessa Saiz consolidating a coarseware vessel.
Anne Hooton, has greatly contributed to our documentary goals.
The aim of the archaeological illustration for the 2005 campaign
was to record and ink all the drawings in order to have publication-ready
illustrations. The season concentrated on the fineware pottery
currently under research by Dr. Ann Steiner for final publication.
In addition, prioritized finds from this year's campaign such
as the inscription block, the bronze figurines and bronze lion
were also drawn and inked. The gold jewelry was drawn for Dr.
Alexis Castor along with bronzes and pottery from previous seasons
for publication. Site work included the plan, section and elevation
drawings of the altar in Trench PC 23 and a section through the
fire pit in PC 23.
Illustrator Anne Hooten drawing the hearth in PC 23 during Week
Perhaps most exciting
for us this year has been the increased participation and involvement
of students in the lab. Students had several opportunities throughout
the season to engage first hand with the material culture of
our site. In addition to work with the conservation staff cleaning
bucchero and other materials, through their research projects
students were provided an opportunity to learn about the various
methodologies employed in studying specific finds such as coins,
roof tiles, metals, paleobotany and ceramics. As a researcher
myself, I was particularly pleased to see students integrate
their on-site excavation knowledge with close consideration of
the objects being found there. It is such a comprehensive approach
that allows us to begin to question and ultimately understand
the overall context of our site!
Jess Dussling, Greg Warden, Stephanie Brown, and Chelsea Kuiper.
As always, it would have
been impossible to have conducted such a productive season in
the lab without the dedication and assistance of my colleagues-Dr.
Ann Steiner, Chris White, Anne Hooton, Vanessa Saiz and Courtney
Brasher. I am grateful to all of them and look forward to next
Professors Ann Steiner and Gretchen Meyers hauling crates
from the magazzino to the Vicchio museum at season's end.
Anne Hooten illustrating the bronze lion from PC 23.
Bucchero sherd with inscription from Trench PC 20, cleaned by
Vanessa Saiz conserving bucchero vessel fragments.
For photographs of key finds from trenches
in the recent season, see Finds.
For information on the Conservation Lab,
see below. For additional information on the lab and magazzino,
visit the Conservation Lab
page listed under Facilities.
About the Conservation
In the conservation lab, conservators
and assistant conservators clean, conserve, and label finds.
Conservation involves the repair, consolidation, and preservation
of material remains. In special cases, our conservators will
come up to the site and assist in the removal of fragile remains.
Conservation work requires expertise in art history, science,
and studio art, and an understanding of archaeological methodology.
Vanessa Saiz looks for joins in
finds in the study room.
Conservation tools and
chemicals used in cleaning and joining finds.
Chris White joins and restores fragments of a bucchero oinochoe.
2004 Head Conservator Chris White advises Katy Blanchard
on excavation of Feature 2 in Podere Funghi Trench PF 15.