The methodology adopted for the fieldwork started with the division of the site into topographic units (TU), which can be composed of one or more architectural complexes (AC): this is the result of the sum of several building elements (BE). A building element is the smallest functional unit that can be recognized by formal and structural features like, for example, a tower, an apse, a minaret, etc. In a BE, the smallest homogeneous building action, such as the construction of a window, the reconstruction or the demolition of a part of a wall (but also “negative” actions like the fall of a painted surface), is defined as a stratigraphic unit (SU)[i]. Practical operations in the field consisted of a systematic survey of the remaining standing structures of the walls and building elements and the subsequent recording of their technical-formal characteristics and relative stratigraphic analysis.

[i] This working methodology follows an Italian standard codified by Roberto Parenti (PARENTI R., 1988, Sulla possibilità di datazione e di classificazione delle murature, in Francovich R., Parenti R. (ed.), Archeologia e restauro dei monumenti, Firenze, pp. 280-305) and Gian-Pietro Brogiolo (BROGIOLO G.P., 1988, Archeologia dell’edilizia storica, Como and BROGIOLO G.P. and CAGNANA A., 2012 Archeologia dell’architettura : metodi e interpretazioni, All’Insegna del Giglio, Firenze). The Italian translation for each term is: Unità Topografica (UT), Complesso Architettonico (CA), Corpo di Fabbrica (CF) and Unità Stratigrafica (US). For the similar methodological approach see: BESSAC J.C. and BOQVIST M., 2005, Les chantiers de construction de la citadelle de Damas: méthodologie et résultats préliminaires, in Arqueología de la Arquitectura, IV, pp. 237-249,

Cite this blog post
Piero Gilento (2017, December 17). Fieldwork. ACTECH. Retrieved May 21, 2024, from

Piero Gilento

Marie Skłodowska Curie Postdoctoral research fellow at Paris 1 - Panthéon Sorbonne

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Piero Gilento

Marie Skłodowska Curie Postdoctoral research fellow at Paris 1 - Panthéon Sorbonne

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