[Back] [Forward] [Contents] [Home]

3.1 Field Methodology

The intention was to sample the whole of the land surface within the sample transects. However, this was not possible because some areas were unsuitable for systematic field survey. Typically these areas were dense woodland, built up areas, or enclosed areas with uncooperative proprietors. In other areas a variety of conditions were encountered ranging from poor conditions in fields with mature crops, pasture, stubble or fallow, to ideal conditions with freshly ploughed fields after a shower of rain. Where ever conditions allowed, areas within the transects were line walked at intervals of 5m. The interval was increased to 10m in areas of poor visibility. Typically a transect was surveyed by a team of four in a single season, usually in September which is the ploughing season and also the time when cultivated vegetation is at its lowest.

When line walking detected a surface scatter of material, the line walking was suspended and a grab sample was taken of artefacts from the scatter. Care was taken to ensure that the limits of the scatter were identified and that the whole area of the scatter was investigated. If the scatter appeared to be spatially articulated into discrete sub-scatters, each was individually investigated and the artefacts from each were kept separate. The collection of artefacts made at each site was sorted in the field. The most common find was fragments of roof tile; these were sorted and one example of each shape and of each fabric was retained. The pottery was sorted and ´diagnostic´ sherds, i.e. rims, bases, handles, decorated sherds, and all fine wares were retained. Other finds, such as fragments of dolium, were treated in a similar way, but in the absence of diagnostic sherds a body sherd was retained. All finds such as nails, coins or glass were retained. A single example of each type of building material, other than local stone e.g. marble or brick, was retained. Animal bone was not kept. If ever there was doubt about the significance of a particular find the policy was to keep it for later sorting. Finds were initially processed at the survey bases. Materials were washed, dried, and further sorted using the same criteria. Brief lists of finds were made and then artefacts were bagged for future specialist study.

The Etruscan finds were studied at various intervals between 1984 and 1989. In 1984 a first tranche of the finds from Doganella were studied by myself and Derek Kennet at the University of Siena. Derek Kennet also catalogued the pithoi/dolia from the survey in 1988. The remainder of the Etruscan finds were studied by myself at the University of Siena. The black gloss wares were studied by Roselle Colomba of the University of Pisa.

The methodology of the study of the ceramics from the survey is discussed in the pottery report from Doganella (Perkins and Walker 1990, 24-41) and the same methodology was followed for this study.

[Back] [Forward] [Contents] [Home]
© Internet Archaeology URL: http://intarch.ac.uk/journal/issue4/perkins/3_1.html
Last updated: Fri Nov 13 1998