Tuesday, August 16, 2011

End of the 2011 campaign

The sixth week of the Gabii field season was busy to the point of being frantic - thus the delay in getting this post up on the web. The week was one of finishing up various projects and beginning the process of finalizing the documentation of the 2011 excavations. We were undaunted by some mid-week rain and finished in fine fashion. Our final Friday was marked by a party in Frascati and the bulk of the team departed the following morning.

The archaeological picture at Gabii continues to become ever more complex. At this stage our team has explored parts of four city blocks and, in so doing, exposed multiple phases of the city's long and varied life. A huge revelation, so to speak, from the 2011 season has been the emergence of substantial architectural remains from multiple periods of the city's life. The Republican phases of the city are increasingly well-represented as we are beginning to see the presence of structures that were occupied in phase with the quasi-orthogonal grid of the Republican city. At this stage the project has explored parts of three side streets of that grid. The city's contraction, influenced in large part by the quarrying of lapis Gabinus involves the gradual abandonment of these city blocks and the subsequent collapse of the vacant buildings. At the southwest of our excavation area an Imperial necropolis emerged which has produced the lead "burrito" sarcophagus (2009) and now over 30 additional tombs of the Imperial period. The city's story is a rich one and a pleasant challenge to unravel.

The 2011 Gabii Project team

Nicola Terrenaton on-site during the final site tour of 2011.

Nicola Terrenato, the project's director, was pleased to announce on July 29th that the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) had awarded him a 3-year collaborative research grant to support the project's research from 2012.

The final week on-site saw a core group of staff members working to complete documentation, finds recording, and end-of-season break down and storage of equipment and supplies. We completed a second round of aerial photography and also backfilled parts of the site - some permanently, others temporarily. Now that the team and staff have returned to their various countries (and continents) we begin the post-excavation process for the 2011 material and the planning process for the 2012 field season. See you in this space soon ...

The project is enormously thankful to its staff, students, and friends (thanks, Sandro!!) for a fantastic and productive 2011 season.

Our die hard staff.