1978 Field Notebook 1, part i

Note: This page contains the transcribed notes from Notebooks 1–5 and X.

Notebooks 1–3 contain day to day field notes, while 4 and 5 are summaries of those notes. Notebook X is Prof. Carter’s personal notes from the season.

Pizzica 1978, Notebook #1: Field Notes, pp. 1–41

June 12, 1978

L’-1, L’1. Level 1, batt. 1.

Excavation begun in attempt to locate east extension of the farmhouse. *Soil is dark and blackish; finds are few in number: one fragment of black glaze ware, greyware bases and various nondescript handles and a  couple handles.* Level of battuta is 0.14–0.15 m down from the present top surface. A more proper level will be taken. The east side of L’-1 is slightly shallower than the rest of the level (0.12–0.13 m in depth).

* Also the extent of the tile fall and concentration of stones


Soil of level corresponds to dark level of topsoil present in baulks throughout the site. It will be necessary to check the levels drawn last year to correlate the level terminology. The first signs of the old irrigation canal have now appeared in the southern half of M’1: yellowish soil. *Also found were a few small fragments of Arretine, T.S., or …. ware which would put level into 1st century BC at earliest.

Finds: PZ-78-4PLPZ-78-5P


L’1, L’-1, M’1, and M’-1.

Old channel, meter wide area excavated in 1976 down to level 2, cut from the 1976 season, and tile fall excavated in 1977.

L’1, L’-2. Level 1, batt. 2.

Second battuta begun and in a bit of a quandary. The soil appears to be browner than batt. 1 (“chocolate-y” in tiny). Material in quality is the same, the quantity may be slightly greater but very little. Difference in soil color may be solely due to the light which is highly variable, difference in moisture content, etc. Material doesn’t seem to warrant the designation of batt. as level 2. Necessary to check Ruth’s notes for her dealing with levels of M’1 (notes are still in Texas, this will have to wait). As best as I can figure, batt. 1 and 2 equal the level 1 of 1976 season, the top of which level was formed by a bulldozer cut out of the side of the hill. The drying of the soil during lunch has evened out the coloration of the soil, and reduced the doubts raised above. Pickings continue to be slim. Various nondescript sherds plus a few more sherds of Arretine-type ware in keeping with the first battuta.

Roman nature of first level corresponds with my memory of the materials found in the upper levels in M’1 in the 1977 season. Prof Carter has raised the question as to whether this is a continuation of the Roman dump in the N-S trench. Work slowed due to continued problems with the well point system.

Finds: PZ-78-7B large bone fragment

June 13, 1978

Work continues on batt. Munsell color reading of soil taken: 10YR 4/1 dark grey, moist. Soil texture is sandy. Color reading on old canal: 10YR ⅞ yellow, moist with many rocks and pebbles and streaks of dark clay. Previous days ramblings on color now seem a bit ridiculous. Work continues at a slow pace. Batt 2 measures at 0.30-0.31m below original surface with some variation as would be expected. Concentration of finds was higher in L’1 than in L’-1. The greater quantity of sherds in L’1 may be associated with activity in the area indicated by the tile and rock fall in M’1. The next level should bring to light a continuation of the fall in M’1.

Level 1, batt. 2 finally completed, sherds few in number: one Arrentine-type ware fragments, a black glaze frag., grey ware frag., lumps of metal or iron slag, and various nondescript sherds. No features visible other than the trace of the modern irrigation canal.

Finds: PZ-78-8PLPZ-78-9B bone joint

June 14, 1978

L’1, L’-1, Level 1, batt. 3.

Work finally begins on next batt. The area of the irrigation canal will be left unexcavated from this point. The naming of the level will have to wait until a good sample of the material and soil can be examined. Also will have to discuss the nomenclature of the level with Ingrid.

Levels → The confusion over the soil of level 1 was solved late yesterday when I finally took a good look at the walls of the squares. The dark blackish soil reported in the discussion of level 1, batt. 1 derives from a  thin layer of topsoil varying in depth from 0.12-0.13m which has collected since the cut was made by the bulldozer. A layer of gray soil below this constitutes the first true level of undisturbed soil. The first batt. consisted of a mixture of these two soils, and the majority of finds can be attributed to the grey soil, although discarded sherds, tiles, etc. no doubt were present in the top soil level. Whether the designations of level 1, batt. 1 and level 1, batt. 2 will remain unchanged will be determined after discussions with Profs. Carter and Edlund.

Finds: PZ-78-11B 2 bone frags and 1 tooth

L’1, L’-1, Level 1, batt. 3.

Battuta 3 finished on both sides on the irrigation canal, depth varies from 0.44–0.49 m from surface. Soil once again appears to be identical to soil in previous batt. Quantity of material small: a couple grey ware frags, a few small frags of Arretine-type ware, various assorted frags of courseware, the molars of a cow, and a tile frag with a joining notch.

Levels → Beginning with the next battuta the finds on either side of the irrigation canal will be kept separate from one another.

No level report drawn for level 1, batt. 3. No visible features except for irrigation canal and signs of some tiles and stones just at the surface.

Finds: PZ-78-12PL

L’1, L’-1, Level 1, batt. 4.

South of irrigation canal soil appears to be same grey sandy soil with which we have been dealing; consistency is more sticky, but this is probably due to presence of more moisture rather than a significant increase in the clay content. The number of tiles and stones present increased greatly, however the were not of such a concentration to indicate a tile fall. Sherds were very few in number, however they may finally indicate a departure from the Roman period. There were … frags of black glaze ware including two frags from the bases of cups. There is one small sherd which may be Arrentine-type ware, however I think that it si simply a sherd composed of fine reddish clay. Its surface in not polished enough for the Arretine-type ware. Cut was shallower than usual due to concentration of tiles and stones, 0.20–0.22 m in depth measured from surface af now unexcavated irrigation canal.

Levels → Battutas 1-3 will remain Level 1. Level 2 is now designated seems to correspond to the Level 2 of the 1977 season in this area.

Finds: PZ-78-13P Black glaze sherd

L’1, L’-1, Level 1, batt. 4.

North of irrigation canal. Soil remains unchanged. Increased concentration of tiles and stones is in area south of canal. Quantity of sherds continues to be small, and the non Roman nature of the level continues to hold. Some red ware has been found, but it does not appear to be of Arrentine-type. A large decorated black glaze frag has been found by Alfredo the Good. Several bone frags including a large frag of a cow bone also are present.

Finds: PZ-78-14PL

L’1, L’-1, Level 1, batt. 4.

North of irrigation ditch. Prof Carter believes that this material is a simply a continuation of the dump found in the nearby N-S trench. If so we will shortly be down to the level of virgin soil in the N-S trench.

Finds: PZ-78-15P black glaze sherd with rf. leaf design, PZ-78-16TPZ-78-17B bone

L’-1, Level 1, batt. 5.

At top of this level of technically even in Level 3 trowel was done around the wall in L’-1. Numerous bone frags were found associated with the wall, these frags have been covered with aluminum foil and bagged separately in a paper bag.

Finds: PZ-78-18PL, PZ-78-19B bone frags

L’1, L’-1, level 1, batt. 4.

North of irrigation ditch. Level completed, no features in L’1. In L’-1 there are several large concentrations of stone and tile. Some of rocks may be part of a crosswall of the wall in L’-1 south of the irrigation ditch. Numerous large tile frags of a flat type with upturned edges; clay of tiles is reddish-orange. Exact nature of tiles and stones is still not certain.

June 15, 1978

Down to top of wall in L’-1 we have same gray soil associated with upper area. Associated with wall is a layer of dry and gritty soil (won’t matter, virtually sterile; what material there is all mixed up in just above and below, some small frags of charcoal) with a layer of gravel south of the wall, material from this layer in char. Greek material, including a lekane rim. Level 2 = layer of the pavement associated with the wall. Level 1 = everything down to well and pavement. Level 3 = area below wall and pavement. Level 2 = Tile fall and below in L’1.

L’1, Level 2 (in fall)

South of irrigation canal. Going through a concentration of tiles which in probably a continuation of tile fall in M’1. Material is Greek. Pavement in L’-1 south of irrigation canal associated with wall doesn’t appear in the area.

Finds: PZ-78-24PLPZ-78-25S gray sandy stone, possibly a grinding dish, PZ-78-26B bone joint frags

L’1, Level 1, batt. 6.

North of irrigation canal. Taken down features in L’1 were not affected, left untouched.

M’-1, Level 4, batt. 1.

When excavation of M’-1 begins it will be lower portion of level 3. Level 2 the area of pavement probably extended throughout the square based on Prof. Carter’s observations. The 1977 excavation of the square went through this level and also took out the top portion of Level 3, the area below the pavement.

A sample of the gravel pavement have been taken for later comparison with other soil, sample not for analysis.

TAKING OF ACTUAL LEVELS: Levels will be taken from K’1, K’-1 whose level is -7.16 as sighted from M’1, M’-1 whose level is -7.78.

A = -8.24m (Lv 2)                    B = -8.26m (Lv 2)

C = -8.33m (Lv 1, b.4)            D = -7.88m (surface)

E = -8.04m (Lv 1 b.4)             F = -7.40m (surface)

G = -8.22m Lv 1, b.5)            H = -7.52m

I = -8.01m (Lv 1, b.4)

(continued in part ii)