2006 STUDENT RESEARCH
TILE AND THE ETRUSCAN ROOF
Dr. Gretchen Meyers,
Jess Galloway, Booziotis & Co., Architects
William Gilstrap, University of California Long Beach
Laura Hovenac, Miami University of Ohio
Andrew Stephan, University of Michigan
Lesli Welch, Southern Methodist University
Lab Assistant: Lauren Jackson
Jackson and Gretchen Meyers directing roof tile research in the
Project Report &
Assignment by Dr. Gretchen Meyers
A great deal of tile associated with
the roofing systems of the monumental structure on the Poggio
Colla acropolis and the workshop/farmhouse of Podere Funghi has
been collected during previous years of ongoing excavation. At
Podere Funghi several separate instances of tile fall have been
documented within the Hellenistic structure. Less frequent are
the instances of substantial tile falls on Poggio Colla, but
a great deal of information can be gained from the nearly complete
examples of pan tile, cover tile, ridge tile and other unique
pieces, such as fragments of smoke-hole/ventilation tiles excavated
from both sites. The many fragments of terracotta roof tile from
Poggio Colla and the Podere Funghi are currently being studied
under the direction of Gretchen Meyers, together with the site's
architect, Jess Galloway and research associate, Lauren Jackson.
A unified typology of the tile and a reconstruction of the roofing
systems of the site's architecture is the goal of this work.
Preliminary work began last summer when
a student research group created an initial typology of tile
from Poggio Colla based on size, fabric and flange profile. The
tiles were also briefly assessed in relation to the typological
features of S. Etruscan tiles established by Örjan Wikander
and an initial survey of the tile in relation to the site's stratigraphy
The Tile Team: Gretchen
Meyers and Jess Galloway
This summer's work will attempt to widen
our understanding of the tile to include tile from the Podere
First it is necessary to examine and
record in standard terminology the typological features of the
tile found at Podere Funghi. This material is particularly important
because a substantial tile fall was excavated in this structure
in 2002. The tile from this particular area was preserved together
and has yet to be studied. With the assistance of the site's
architect we will also consider possible roof reconstructions
and standard measurements of the various tile groups.
Our second objective is to refine our
typology of Poggio Colla tile and make comparisons with the Podere
Funghi. Using published materials we will integrate our findings
with established tile typologies from other Etruscan sites, as
well as other examples of tile from Northern Etruria.
Our third objective is to consider the
stratigraphic and chronological significance of the tile from
Poggio Colla and the Podere Funghi in order to better understand
the occurrence of tile on our site in relation to the diffusion
of tile technology in central Italy.
As part of the course requirements for
the field school, all students will complete a final project
composed of two parts. 1) At the end of the summer, as a group
the four students will prepare and present a power point presentation
that addresses the goals, processes and conclusions reached during
the research. 2) By September 1, each student will write a 8-10
page paper which will be composed of a brief catalog of a portion
of the tile studied (for example, pan tiles from PF, cover tiles
from PC, etc). At the end of the catalog students will discuss
issues of typology, chronology, manufacture or other relevant
The following readings will be made available
as xeroxes. Students will be expected to share available copies.
This is a preliminary schedule. Additions or changes may occur
at the discretion of the professor and will be announced as needed.
Ö. Wikander, "From Clay Beds
to Excavation," in Acquarossa. Volume VI. The Roof-Tiles.
Part 2. Typology and Technical Features. (Stockholm 1993), 100-139.
R. C. Hendrickson &M. J. Blackman,
"Hellenistic Production of Terracotta Roof Tiles among the
Ceramic Industries at Gordion," Oxford Journal of Archaeology
18 (1999), 307-326.
D. Ridgway, The World of the Early Etruscans.
Professor Gretchen Meyers
with the 2006 roof tile research group.
(left) and Lesli Welch (right) measuring cover and pan tiles
Left: Andrew Stephan drawing tile. Right: Illustrator Anne Hooten
and William Gilstrap discuss illustration methodology.
Andrew Stephan's tools and drawing of a pan tile fragment.
illustration of a smoke hole tile
Andrew Stephan drawing roof tile fragments.
Lauren Jackson, Laura Hovenac, and Lesli Welch work on tile in
Jess Galloway drawing profiles of cover tiles from a Poggio Colla