Thursday, June 9, 2016

We're more than halfway through the second week of the official season! So much has been going on in the four trenches we have open at the moment. As the previous blog entires have discussed, we've been getting many interesting finds, including mosaic floor pieces, tiles with footprints, brick stamps, and architecture that further illuminates our understanding of Cosa's bath complex. Ana's trench, for instance, found a mosaic floor surrounded by tubuli!

I'm currently working in Nora's trench, which is in the southern part of the bath area. Last week, we immediately came upon rubble (from wall fall) in topsoil, but we were able to clear that quickly with the help of our wonderful visitor Gil Glennie. This week, we found a wall that runs perpendicular to a wall for the bucket room, and also a (in-situ?) cocciopesto floor on one side of the wall. After passing through the rubble layer, we have been finding much more pottery, bones, bits of glass,  marble, and tubuli. Yesterday we also found fragments of a brick stamp and a marble inscription, which will shed light on the bath complex's development and history. The marble inscription, pictured below with Christie, who found it, was reused in antiquity:




I've also been doing research in the storerooms for my dissertation, which investigates ancient Rome's food supply by focusing on the technologies and industries of the storage and packaging for wine, olive oil, and fish sauce in west-central Italy. I came about a week before the official season to locate, study, and document various materials of interest, such as dolia, dolium lids, lead-based repairs, and amphorae. I'm constantly impressed by the wealth of fascinating evidence as I rummage through the bins of finds from past excavations. I've been finding the dolium rim and body fragments I've read about from Cosa catalog cards from the archive at the American Academy in Rome, but I did not expect to find dolium lid fragments and so many different types of dolium repairs. I'm very much looking forward to studying these objects in more detail!

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