Jess Galloway, Project Architect

Field Survey at Poggio Colla and the Podere Funghi
Jess Galloway

Poggio Colla Architect Jess Galloway leads the site survey project

2012 Report
Jess Galloway:

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 maps



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 charts


Jess Galloway drawing tile fall in Trench PC 36


2007 Report
Jess Galloway:

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.

Jess Galloway 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.

Students 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 map.

Students 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 process.

2007: the new, improved data collector


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


2005 Report
Jess Galloway:

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 Plan


Jess Galloway drawing walls and rubble in the Podere Funghi.


The south slope of Poggio Colla surveyed in 2004.


2002 Report:

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 smoothly.

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.


2001 Report:

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 system.

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 CMT’s ( Surveyor’s Assistant 2.2 was a critical factor. Surveyor’s 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 CMT’s Cogocad 2.2 we now have the ability to go directly into Autocad R14 without the need for Minicad as an intermediate step. This season’s 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 Surveyor’s 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 day’s 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 Corney’s 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 features.


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.

Topographic Survey at Poggio Colla
Mark Corney, Dept. of Archaeology, University of Bristol, Great Britain

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 site’s dominant position overlooking
both the Mugello basin and the defile that leads to the Val di Sieve.

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 table).

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.


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