THE GENERAL SURVEY
OF POGGIO COLLA AND PODERE FUNGHI
Survey at Poggio Colla and the Podere Funghi
Poggio Colla Architect Jess Galloway leads the site survey project
We reopened Trenches PC 22, 30 and 45 and started the new Trench PC 47 between 44 and 20 on the north edge of the hill. The bulk of the architectural survey should come from this new Trench PC 47 as Trenches PC 22, 30 and 45 are presumably excavated to below the top of the major walls. We also started Trench NW5 on the northwest slope of Poggio Colla. This is a continuation of the earlier work done down in the quarry and workshop area on the northwest slope.
We are using the Topcon 211D total station and TDS Ranger data collector and our familiarity with this equipment and its software has made the survey season run smoothly, except for one small mechanical glitch. The cord connecting the data collector and the total station failed, causing almost a week without survey. Fortunately we found an old cord that worked with the old MC5 data collector and it worked fine with the newer Ranger, allowing us to finish the season uninterrupted.
Much of our work, as in previous seasons, has been adding to and refining our plan of the foundation walls across the site and our continued mapping of finds on the top of the hill. With less than two weeks to go before the end of this season, the preparation of final trench plans has begun.
Over the last few years we have trained the field staff to use the survey equipment and now all the field supervisors and the assistant are fully familiar with the total station and the data collector. As a result, all finds can be shot in when it is most conveinent for the trench supervisor. This allows more time for other research related to the building architecture.
2011 Poggio Colla Site Plan with 2012 Trenches Indicated
For larger image, see this pdf: 2012 Survey Map of Arx on Poggio Colla
2012: Jess Galloway teaches Ted Clark to use survey equipment on Poggio Colla.
2010 Poggio Colla Site Plan
2008 Poggio Colla Site Plan
Tim Liddell and Jess Galloway work on survey data and AutoCad
Jess Galloway conducting a survey workshop for field school students:
use of the Topcon total
station and CMT data collector and software
programs (Cogocad, Autocad) to generate site plans and finds
Jess Galloway drawing tile fall in Trench PC 36
The 2007 season included
a variety of land and field survey work. Besides the normal archaeological
survey we had two field surveys to coordinate and tie into the
overall site map.
surveying in the Podere Funghi; behind him,
Rob Sternberg and Erin Bradley using the magnotometer
Dr. Robert Steinberg
from Franklin and Marshall College surveyed in the Podere Funghi
and adjoining fields with a magnetometer. For him, we used survey
equipment to establish several working squares in which he carried
out his field work. Also, Dr. Sarah Bon-Harper conducted a shovel
test pit survey in the Podere Funghi. We laid out a 45m x 65m
grid, at 5m on center, for this survey.
working on shovel test pits in the Podere Funghi
This season, as we have
in the past, we continued to record find locations and record
architectural wall foundations. We also added to the topographic
information to continue developing an accurate topographic map
of the area.
Jess Galloway and Michael
Thomas surveying on Poggio Colla
This year we have added
a large area gouge and coring survey using a new Topcon GPS for
gouge and core locations and we have been working together to
incorporate the two survey data sets into a larger area topographic
work with Robert Vander Poppen on the coring survey
Finally, we should note
that we have incorporated a new TDS Ranger data collector into
our survey system. This new Windows CE based system replaces
our old CMT MC5 data collector. It has made data acquisition
and manipulation far easier and has sped up the entire survey
2007: the new, improved
Jess Galloway makes final drawings of walls in Trench PC 31
Jess Galloway's drawing underway of walls in PC 30: hand drawing
over AutoCad plan
2007 Poggio Colla Site Plan
This season we plan to
continue our topographic mapping of the south side of Poggio
Colla. We will collect artifact data to continue our spatial
reconstruction of finds from the top of the hill as well as the
normal mapping of the architectural stones found as both wall
spill and wall coursing.
Last year the local woodsman
cleared an area of over 8300 square meters, beginning at the
easting gridline 980 and ending at 1080. This area was then surveyed
on 5 meter grid lines, yielding a 1 meter topographic contour
map. During the winter the woodsman continued his clearing moving
west from the easting gridline 980. We will continue to extend
the topographic map through this new area as the season progresses.
We are continuing to
utilize the Topcon 211D total station and a CMT MC-V GT data
collector from Covallis MicroTechnology, Inc., with good results.
The data collector is still running Surveyor's Assistant 2.2
and we collect the data off the data collector using Cogocad.
All the information is processed with Cogocad and then output
to Microsoft Excel or Autocad 2002. With Excel we can produce
a daily list of the archaeological finds and the associated coordinates.
Finally, our maps and models are produced using Autocad 2002.
We are looking forward
to another successful season of survey.
Architect Jess Galloway
draws detailed plans of the site, incorporating hand drawn and
electronic survey data.
2004 Poggio Colla Site
Jess Galloway drawing walls
and rubble in the Podere Funghi.
The south slope of Poggio Colla surveyed in 2004.
This year the site survey started at
the beginning of the season instead of during the third week,
and with three trenches in the Podere Funghi and two trenches
on top of Poggio Colla, the life of the surveyor has been action-packed.
It is always difficult keeping up on such a large site. Trench
layout started easily in the Podere Funghi with Trenches PF 9,
10 and 11. PF 9 is north of last year's PF 6; PF 10 and PF 11
are to the east and west respectively. On Poggio Colla, trench
layout was even simpler, as we reopened PC19, 22 and 23, with
PC 19 and 22 being run as a single trench by Justin Winkler.
Several weeks into the season we added PC 24 on the top of the
hill and PF 12, as trenches PF10 and 11 played out quickly in
the Podere Funghi.
This is our third year of using the Topcon
total station and Corvallis MC5 data collector, so our familiarity
with the software and equipment has made the survey season run
Early in the 2002 season we did a topographic
survey of the Podere Funghi and finally, after 5 years, we have
a topographic map of this area. It is always amazing that there
is so much other work to accomplish in a season that we sometimes
do not get to things like this before the time runs out and backfill
begins. Much of our work, as in previous seasons, has been adding
to and refining our plan of the foundation walls across the site
and our continued mapping of finds on the top of the hill. With
less than two weeks to go before the end of this season, the
preparation of final trench plans has begun.
Before the beginning of the 2000 season
we purchased our own total station and data collector. We now
own a Topcon 211D total station and a CMT MC-V GT data collector
from Covallis MicroTechnology, Inc. After much consideration
we decided to abandoned the use of SiteMap 1.1 (formerly ForeSight
1.0), which was developed by MASCA, a part of the University
of Pennsylvania Museum. Although SiteMap had proved easy for
field students to use, it did not prove adequate for the full
extent of survey carried out at Poggio Colla.
During our first two seasons the survey
was carried out with an MC-V data collector and a Pentax total
station using Winsurv survey software and was sponsored by Southern
Methodist University. Winsurv is a commercially available survey
program. Beginning in the 1997 season we used the ForeSight
system from MASCA. This system consists of a Topcon 312 total
station, a CMT MC-V data collector running the ForeSight
(eventually SiteMap) survey software and Minicad and Excel SiteMap
templates for data translation. Southern Methodist University
and the University of Pennsylvania Museum sponsored the SiteMap
The 2000 survey team: April
Kramer (left) and Jess Galloway (right).
Many factors led us to return to commercial
software and our own survey equipment during the 2000 season.
The opportunity to have equipment available year round for our
Archaeo-Topographical Survey was certainly important, but also
the flexibility of CMTs (http://www.cmtimc.com)
Surveyors Assistant 2.2 was a critical factor. Surveyors
Assistant (SA2.2) is a very flexible data collection software
program. Our survey needs require more than mapping of trenches,
finds and architectural remains. We have trenches in three separate
locations located more than 600 meters apart and requiring the
ability to easily traverse between them. We also need to traverse
to establish control lines for the Archaeo-Topographical Survey.
SA2.2 offers the ability to review all collected data in the
field without downloading that data to one of the excavation
computers. SA2.2 also has allowed us to continue to use our already
established survey database. Pairing SA2.2 with CMTs Cogocad
2.2 we now have the ability to go directly into Autocad R14 without
the need for Minicad as an intermediate step. This seasons
survey is being sponsored again by Southern Methodist University
and the University of Pennsylvania Museum.
All site related data is presented using
Autocad R14 software. The ability to use only one cad program
makes it much easier to train field students to aid in data manipulation
and mapping. The current software has proved flexible to use
and easily coordinates the traditional survey output with the
maps produced through the Archaeo-Topographical Survey. We use
Autocad to produce daily and weekly maps during the excavation
season as well as all maps used in publication.
Since the first field season in 1995
the general site survey has been carried out by Jess Galloway
of Booziotis & Company, Architects.
Left: Architect Jess Galloway
cuts a site line for survey. Right: April Kramer carries the
prism pole down the line.
After three weeks of survey during the
2000 field season, the survey team settled into a comfortable
rhythm. The new system we implemented on the hill for collecting
data has worked well from the beginning. Our Topcon Totalstation
and the CMT data collector are both reliable and easy to use.
The Surveyors Assistant software has proved to be more
flexible than we had expected and has also proved easy to use.
The student survey assistant, April Kramer, quickly grasped the
concept of surveying and the operation of the equipment and has
proved most invaluable.
Unfortunately, the transition from SiteMap
to Survey Assistant and Cogocad was a difficult one. We initially
tried to blend the two systems together. This required several
more steps to process data into a form that we could plot in
Autocad. Once we decided to forego the old system and concentrate
our efforts on Cogocad we have been able to more quickly produce
maps for the site. The system is now to download the days
data into Cogocad, map the wall stones and then send the data
to Autocad for final processing and plotting. Future seasons
should produce maps of the architecture and artifact distribution
on a weekly if not daily basis.
The 2000 season produced a significant
amount of foundation wall to map, including a 3D imaging project
in Trench PC20. We mapped artifacts in Trenches PC19, PC20 and
PC21 on a daily basis to produce artifact distribution maps in
three dimensions. The main difficulty came from the separation
of Trench PC18, 100 meters down the hill through thick acacia
growth and Trench PF5, which is 600 meters away. Both of these
trenches require relocating the instrument to record data for
our maps, taking us off the hill for significant periods of time.
The trench supervisors in PC19, PC20 and PC21 were accommodating
and as such the survey project moved forward acceptably well.
Finally, during the 2000 season we established
further control points for Mark Corneys Archaeo-Topography
survey. These control points have proved most useful, and he
has been able to map a substantial area on the northeastern slope
of the hill.
2002 composite map of the
arx of Poggio Colla
The total station has also been utilized
to establish control points for the topological site survey being
carried out by Mark Corney during several field seasons.
2001 composite map of Poggio
Colla showing site contours and the locations of trenches and
Jess Galloway draws each
trench by hand to complement the
survey maps he produces with the Total Station and Autocad.
This is a working drawing of Trench PC 19 at season's end 2002.
The 1999 survey team: Jess
Galloway and Cris Worley.
Survey at Poggio Colla
Mark Corney, Dept. of Archaeology, University of Bristol, Great
Mark Corney walking a field
in the Mugello Valley to sense its topography.
(Capital letters refer to features indicated
on the plan shown below)
The earthwork and topographic survey
of Poggio Colla and its environs has now been underway for three
seasons. During this time a total area of 4 hectares has been
surveyed in detail at a scale of 1:500 and reconnaissance carried
out over a further 6 hectares. The survey has been technically
very challenging given the nature of the topography and the vicious
nature of the vegetation! However the results have more than
justified the effort expended to date.
At the center of the survey area is the
artificially leveled hilltop of Poggio Colla with its complex
of Etruscan structures that form the focus of the current excavations.
Survey here in 1998 defined the limits of the upper platform
and identified a series of terraces, probably representing access
ways, around the middle and lower slopes. At the eastern end
of the hill a lower platform, A, measuring 30m x 40m has been
planned in detail. This appears to have been defined by a substantial
wall, traces of which are still visible on the surface. Beyond
this, on the lower eastern slope, a terrace-way, B, partially
defined by a scarp revetted with dry-stone walling, may mark
the original access to the hilltop complex.
South east of B the topography levels
out and a number of rectangular platforms have been identified,
C. These are defined by slopes with intermittent traces of walling
and surface scatters of ceramic material. The regular form of
the platforms would strongly suggest that they represent structures
of considerable archaeological potential. These are approached
from the east and north-east by a series of terrace-ways cut
into the steep lower slope of Poggio Colla, D. The full course
of these terraces has been a major component of the 2000 survey
season and the most recent work has traced their course around
the north-east corner of the hill for a further 70 meters.
Beyond the western end of the hill a
considerable area of detailed survey was possible in March and
April 1998 due to the clear felling of a large portion of the
chestnut wood that dominates the slopes. This zone has been heavily
quarried in the past and although some of this activity is of
documented recent date, other remains display a generally rounded
and softer profile indicative of some considerable antiquity.
In this area the western approach to Poggio Colla is defined
by a defile up to 50m in width flanked by prominent ridges. Along
the base of the defile runs a series of intercutting hollow-ways
marking a succession of routes that lead to the western foot
of Poggio Colla. On the north side are a number of rectangular
platforms that may indicate former structures, E. Reconnaissance
further to the east suggests that there are a number of areas
of archaeological potential along the defile towards Montisassi.
On the ridges flanking the defile a number of low, circular mounds
have been identified, F. Although their date and function must
await further investigation, their siting and spacing present
an intriguing set of possibilities. As the survey work advances
towards Montisassi further exciting discoveries are anticipated.
The two seasons of earthwork survey at
Poggio Colla have amply demonstrated the applicability of this
technique to the Mediterranean region. It has led to a number
of exciting discoveries and has proved to be an invaluable tool
in understanding the immediate surroundings of the site.
Above and below: Mark Corney
drawing in the field.
North-west corner of the
plateau of Poggio Colla. The removal of the
heavy tree cover revealed the sites dominant position overlooking
both the Mugello basin and the defile that leads to the Val di
North flank of the plateau
with view of the Val di Sieve behind. On the left
are Nick Griffiths (in foreground) and Mark Corney (at the drafting
Nick Griffiths (left) and
Mark Corney (right).
The north-east corner of
the plateau, seen from below. This area
seems to have been heavily fortified in the Hellenistic period.