Excavations began at Campanaio in the summer of 1994, when a team from Trinity College Dublin lead by Professor Wilson established a sequence of settlement activity through a series of exploratory trenches. Various structures were identified which had survived total destruction by plough action, but were however, unlikely to survive much longer if a proposal to introduce a vineyard on the site were to go ahead. The planting of vines would almost certainly be preceded by a phase of deep ploughing which would almost completely destroy any remaining structures.
The extent of the settlement area has been estimated to be something in the region of 4 ha. on the basis of the distribution of surface pottery. This is often an unsatisfactory method of determining settlement area, due to the effects of secondary deposition and post depositional processes which tend to extend originally discrete activity areas (Haselgrove. 1985). The analysis of relatively large settlement areas poses several particularly difficult problems which are directly related to the size of the area to be investigated. Amongst these problems is the definition of the settlement area alluded to in the previous paragraph, and the economic basis and range of activities engaged upon in such a settlement.
Traditional intrusive methods (excavation) although generally conclusive are none the less very time consuming and expensive, and as the potential area of investigation increases in area so does the cost both in terms of time and labour. Developments in recent years have led to the fast and efficient implementation of geophysical prospection. The tried and trusted techniques (particularly of magnetometry and resistivity) have repeatedly demonstrated their potential in the identification of a variety of buried remains in a wide range of geographic locations. There are of course limitations to the applications of any geophysical method particularly in relation to local pedologies and lithologies, but in many instances these can be identified prior to survey and decisions made accordingly.
With these factors in mind the author was consulted on the possibility
of undertaking a geophysical program at the site of Campanaio, "in the
hope of understanding better the overall nature of the settlement, and
possibly to indicate pottery and tile kilns......." (Wilson. 1995).
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