Saturday, July 9, 2011

Third week of the 2011 season

It seems unbelievable that we have reached the mid-way point of the 2011 field season. Things on-site at Gabii are so busy and our team (85 persons strong) is working so hard that time seems to be flying by this summer. Our week was very productive and was fortunate for good weather, save one rainy day. The excavations in Areas C, D, and E continue to work to delimit parts of city blocks, including phases that pre-date the imposition of Gabii's street grid that was exposed by survey. This involves looking not only for limits with respect to the blocks, but also to untangling what is looking to be a multi-phase architectural chronology. Area E (our newest area) is still in the process of clearing colluvial layers, but has in so doing exposed some promising wall tops and important evidence of our easternmost side street.

Stormy skies over the Ager Gabinus.

Sophia Staley (Brown) and David Zackheim (Williams) work with assistant supervisor Marilyn Evans (Berkeley), at center.

Laura Wilke (Cornell) and Bailey Benson (UPenn) work sorting pottery.

Area B Team on 8th July 2011 with supervisor Claudia Melisch, at center.
At the Villa Mercede we had two engaging lecture presentations by Nicola Terrenato and Abigail Crawford, respectively. Terrenato's talk on stratigraphy and the Harris matrix pushed students to think about the relationship of stratigraphic contexts on an archaeological site and the challenges of organizing stratigraphic information in a usable and lucid way. Crawford's talk on archaeological materials included a 'practical' component wherein students were given finds data and stratigraphic data for various units and asked to offer interpretations on that basis. Both exercises were very useful for our group.

Nicola Terrenato discusses the Harris matrix.
Abby Crawford discusses archaeological materials.

Alison Rittershaus (Harvard)

Nicola Terrenato capped the week with a presentation at the Koninklijk Nederlands Instituut Rome in tandem with a presentation of the publication of the Regional Pathways to Complexity Project. The event enjoyed an excellent turnout and the Gabii Project is extremely grateful to the Dutch Institute for the invitation to include our work in their event. On we go to the fourth week!

Nicola Terrenato discusses Gabii Project research on July 8, 2011.

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