2015 TRENCH PC 50
Field Supervisor: Michael Kilgore


Field Supervisor Michael Kilgore


Mid-Season Report:

This season brings forth the opening of a new trench labeled as PC 50. PC 50 is located on the southern-most boundary of the Poggio Colla acropolis. The southern perimeter has not been as intensely excavated as most other locations around the site. We will gain a better understanding of what is going on along the southern edge of the acropolis by studying the artifact finds and defining architectural features. Our hopes are to find as many artifacts as possible and excavate as deep as we can go below the surface in order to obtain the answers to our questions.

View of Trench PC 50 during Week 2 of 2015


The season has reached the halfway point. The PC 50 field team has made phenomenal progress throughout the excavation despite having to endure the extreme heat of this Italian summer. The trench has already produced a vast assortment of finds. These finds range from various types of metals, ceramics, lithic (stone) tools, jewelry, and much more. As for the architecture we are fast approaching the upper surfaces of the Phase 1 walls which connect with two adjoining trenches (PC 32 and PC 33) just to the east and west. PC 50 was nicknamed Banana Bay due to its remote location among shady trees that provide considerably more comfortable conditions than those of the other trenches on site.

PC 50 Trench Team: Melissa Fain, Liz Fraccaro, Carter Gantt,
Michael Kilgore, and Preman Koshar


The major goals are to find a running wall with a column base within the northern part of our trench and to better figure out the story in this region of the site. These goals also include discovering what is unknown within the southern quadrant of the trench. We had an interesting depression in the southwest quadrant which sank well below the surface, however our team uncovered no finds and no purpose for this feature. In the process our team gave this feature the name Depressed Depression and no team member was a fan of excavating this area. We have done a great job so far in this 2015 season and we will continue to dig up earth and strive to find more answers to our questions. Keep up the great work Carter, Liz, Melissa and Preman!          


Final Report:

Great drawings in Field Supervisor Michael Kilgore's notebook

The 2015 field season and final excavation at Poggio Colla are over. This season has proven to be another great learning experience for all participants. Trench PC 50 started out right at the surface within a 5x5 meter grid. The major objectives were to discover more information about the southernmost region of the Poggio Colla acropolis, to reveal architecture such as walls or column bases, and to unearth artifacts. For the most part, these objectives were met although this trench brought forth questions that may never be answered. Because PC 50 made its debut this year, limited material was expected in these late stratigraphy layers. PC 50 did produce quite an array of finds together with a 2-meter thick wall near the center of the trench defining a clear exterior and interior space.

Mike Kilgore and his team complete work in Trench PC 50

The learning experience was the greatest find of them all. The team gained in-depth knowledge of archaeological excavation, hard outdoor labor, and working as a team. This season was extremely hot and this factor alone took a great physical toll on everyone, but mentally they pushed through the elements and made impressive progress. An excavation is ultimately nothing without a strong core of unified personal. The team excavated an entire 5x5 meter trench to a depth of just under a meter in areas. The team dug down to the third stratum and came close to the forth. Excavation was challenging because the soil was hard and dry and contained rock rubble and massive amounts of tile fragments. Many of the tile fragments were large pieces and a few were nearly intact. The hard ground combined with the hot weather resulted in less than ideal excavating conditions. Nevertheless, the students prevailed and became better people because of it.

Final photo of Trench PC 50, viewed from the west

Trench PC 50 finds consisted of many tile fragments and various types of pottery fragments as well as iron, bronze, petrified wood, bone, and uniquely shaped lithic materials. A broad wall running east-west occupies nearly half of the trench and ends just before the east scarp. Its breadth suggests it was part of a fortification that may have included a tower. From this vantage point on the hill, the surrounding valleys would have been visible for miles. Numerous bronze and iron nails, fragments of petrified wood, and worked flint pieces were found at the east end of the wall. This suggests that there may have been an entrance here. Perhaps with further excavation, a threshold will be discovered. The wall itself is late third or fourth phase, dating it to around the 3rd century BCE.

Last day of excavation in Trench PC 50

PC 50 could be excavated further, but this summer we made a great start. I am proud of the accomplishments of my crew. Way to go Carter, Liz, Melissa, and Preman. I wish you all the best of luck with your future goals and hope to work with you all out in the field again some day.

Michael Kilgore entering data and drawings in his field notebook