Discussion of how survey guides the placement of excavation areas

Activity: Talk and presentationAcademic presentationAcademic


How do we use survey data when making decisions about placing excavation trenches? This question has become relevant as the Groningen Institute of Archaeology intends to excavate at a site with a complex history of previous investigations. Called Timpone delle Fave, this Final Bronze Age hilltop site in northern Calabria (Italy) is of interest because, together with a few other sites that have emerged from the RAP survey project, it offers the possibility of refining the regional pottery typochronology for the FBA-EIA transitional period.
So, we want to excavate a closed FBA1-2 hut context. But the information available on which to base the decision where to place an excavation trench is rather sketchy: several unsystematic surveys seem to indicate areas where hut loam and storage pottery are concentrated, but these previous collections may also have changed the patterning in the current surface record. A limited systematic total field survey and magnetometer survey conducted in 2019 both suffer from poor conditions – a sloping and uneven surface, and dense vegetation occasionally broken by wild boar rooting. If we cannot conduct a good systematic intensive (re-) survey, can we still fix on the optimum location for a test trench? We would like to discuss this.
Event title38th Meeting of the International Mediterranean Survey Workshop
Event typeConference
Conference number38
LocationGroningen, Netherlands