All material used for the development of this application «GeOstraka» comes from the Ostracabase database (.http://sos-veleia1.wikidot.com/). from which the most significant parts have been extracted.
Here are some facts about its development and technical aspects of this OSTRACABASE
OSTRACABASE DATA SHEET
Digging data, stratigraphies, chronologies, photographs, drawings, etc.: Eliseo Gil Zubillaga (E.G.Z.) - Idoia Filloy Nieva (I.F.N.).
Classification of archaeological material: I.F.N.
Reading epigraphic graphites: E.G.Z. and I.F.N. Those for the EU 51144 were cross-checked with those of Juan Santos Yanguas and Pilar Ciprés Torres. Those that present texts in Basque, are coincident with those of JM. Elexpuru, also specifying the reading of it, in cases where it is not. When there is a different one from those people, it is indicated in each case. We call them readings because they are not epigraphic transcriptions themselves, not using coding to use. In these readings we have chosen to put the text without adding the parenthesis with three points (...) even if it seems incomplete, precisely so as not to express any interpretation in this regard. This code was only used when there was assurance that something was missing. When there was no security in the interpretation of a letter, it has been put in parentheses and with a question (?), or possible options have been given. When you enter a letter in parentheses, for example (A), you are sure it was there.
Description of figurative graphites: E.G.Z and I.F.N.
Photographs of graphites (indicated in each case): Lurmen S.L. and Quintas for the Iruña-Veleia IIIer Project. Millennium, DFA Restoration Service.
Computerization: Koenraad Van den Driessche
What is ostracabase?
The ostracabase is intended to show the graphites of exceptional character located in Iruña-Veleia, ordered according to the different sectors of excavation or surveys in which they were located and, in each of them, by enclosures (if any) and stratigraphic units (U.S.). In each of these strata, exceptional graphites are offered, each with its individualized data sheet, its photograph (if available), its reading proposal and/ or its description.
The first objective of the ostracabase would therefore be to publish these graphites according to their archaeological contexts of origin.
The second objective of the ostracabase would be to expose this archaeological material to a debate of a scientific nature. This provides for the possibility of participating in an open discussion about each graphite
What information is collected in the ostracabase?
As we have pointed out, the graphites are presented organized according to their archaeological origin: excavation or surveying sector, enclosure -if any - and E. First, we should point out that the location, descriptive or stratigraphic data provided in the oysterbase, relating to the context of the appearance of the materials, are basic in nature. That is, we are not looking at an excavation memory in which all the data collected in the field, or all photographs or all the drawings, is provided. The aim is only to offer minimal brushstrokes that show how we are faced with archaeological material contextualized in stratigraphic sequences established in a standardized excavation process, in which the archaeological methodology has been applied to use. Obviously, we refer to the excavations carried out by E.G.Z. and I.F.N. of the company Lurmen S.L, concessionaire of the excavation.
This stratigraphic organization of the material, is fundamental to establish the nature and chronology of each of the contexts of finding these materials, which will show their own thematic coherence. Materials located in different places (even if they all come from the same site) and corresponding to different (and therefore historical) chronological moments cannot be mixed interpretively. This is basic in an intended scientific analysis. That is why we find this way of organizing the presentation of the material absolutely necessary, as a way of being able to study it correctly and draw conclusions that are valid.
It also provides the data of the chronology of each of these UU.EE., which is derived from the location of each stratum within the stratigraphic record of each zone and the archaeological materials located in each. The related strata have to show a chronologically consistent sequencing, the dating of which will be limited by the type of localized evidence, having to take into account all possible factors by which a material is incorporated into a stratum, including a possible secondary arrangement of it. In other words, it is the archaeological materials of each level that provide the chronological indications of when each of them was formed and the individual dating must be consistent within the established stratigraphic sequence and, therefore, within the relationships of before and after that derive from it. Only a few graphites will lack stratigraphic dating, because they have been located in surface prospecting or in the surface strata of the register.
Thus, after what is to be understood as a succinct presentation of each sector or survey, enclosure and stratigraphic unit, with its dating, the graphites of exceptional character located in each case are shown. The criterion of selection of the same we discussed below.
From each graphite, a photograph is displayed, although we do not have photographs of all the pieces. The classification of the engraving execution media is then offered, indicating the area of the engraving in which it was executed. If the part has graphites on two of its faces, face A, will correspond to what, at source, was the outer surface of the vessel and, the B-side, to the inside. The graphite reading proposal is then made for those of epigraphic content, as well as a brief description of those shown by figures. In general, you do not enter into an interpretation of them. After the presentation of each piece is offered a section for the commentary of the same. It is an open field to scientific debate which is how we understand conclusions to be reached and, finally, a consensus... or not.
What are exceptional findings?
We want to make it clear, first of all, that considering graphite as exceptional does not in any way mean that this is synonymous with problematic, but rather perhaps surprising and/or novel. On the other hand, the concept of exceptional graphite is not so easy to determine. Perhaps the mere fact that it does not correspond to the allegedly common property marks already constitutes in itself a criterion of exceptionality, in that it indicates a different purpose and sometimes even difficult to establish, but which provides interesting data on our former societies. But also among graphites that apparently serve as an indication of the ownership or user of a part, exceptional characters can be evidenced by the type of graphic expression used or by being a written expression of the much difficult to trace vulgar Latin, for example.
The criterion that has been followed to highlight a finding among the rest as "exceptional", is therefore complicated and, of course, debatable. There are graphites that are undoubtedly, by their own content (by the plasma language, by the graphic expression of it, by the recorded images, etc.). In the excavations carried out by us in Iruña-Veleia, most of these appeared as part of broader sets of graphites (not all exceptional), although there are also those that were recorded individually in certain strata.
De este modo, se ofrece aquí -por un lado- una selección de aquellos grafitos que consideramos excepcionales por su contenido y que aparecieron como expresión gráfica aislada entre otros materiales arqueológicos. Corresponden a diversas campañas de excavación y a diversos sectores, como veremos. Por otro lado, se exponen aquellos que forman realmente conjuntos gráficos. Somos conscientes de que, dentro de ellos, los hay excepcionales y los hay que no lo serían en sí mismos. Sin embargo, en estos casos, para no desvirtuar el contexto ni la visión de conjunto, ofrecemos todos los grafitos aparecidos en esos estratos en concreto, que tengan una cierta enjundia, excluyendo únicamente aquellos compuestos por trazos que no aportan información. Como en cada conjunto se aportará el número de grafitos localizados, cotejando éste con el número de grafitos individualizados en la ostracabase, el resto lo constituirán dichos grafitos simples.
How and when have they been found?
The co-ordinated graphites were identified in situ, after the lifting of the piece of the stratum in excavation (usually by a mechanical cleaning at the time) and were coordinated at the time of their location, being the date that appears in the inventory the day they were found.
Other graphites, most, were not identified at the time of lifting the support, due - surely - to the fact that they are covered with the soil's own adhesion of the stratum on the support and that a mechanical cleaning has not been performed in situ. The stratigraphic reference in these graphites is therefore the generic of the stratigraphic unit where it was located. In the case of depth, one of the ratio of stratum dimensions, although it is a simple reference for the tab, since the part was located within those margins. The date attached to this unordered material corresponds to one of the days of excavation of the stratum (usually the last) not at the time when the material was identified during the processing of the material. For example, in the case of the EU 51144, where thousands of material evidence was located, its processing lasted months although it began at the same time that the excavation of the stratum began. Therefore, much of the graphites of this EU were detected after the completion of their excavation, although in the tab they were assigned a date of excavation of the stratum. That is why it was in no way possible to consider, in this particular case, a change in the methodological strategy of excavation. For the simple reason that it was already completed when we were able to perceive the magnitude and entity of the whole.
We want to make a small reflection the fact that graphites are mostly identified during the processing of the material and not in situ. And not only the exceptional ones, but ALL. We must point out, first of all, that this is the norm. And we'll explain why. Archaeological material comes out of the ground, and that always happens. Depending on the support (i.e., if it is ceramic -and the type of this-, bone, metal, glass, etc.) and the type of soil of the stratum that contains it, it may have a greater or lesser degree of adhesion of that soil. For example, a very clay matrix is not the same, which sticks more to the objects contained in it than a sandy-textured soil. It is not the same how the soil adheres to a sigillata with a well-cooked engobe as to a worse quality engobe or to a common ceramic. There are many conditions involved in the greater or lesser adhesion of the "dirt" with which an archaeological material appears and in the greater or lesser difficulty in removing this "dirt". Sometimes such "elimination" is certainly difficult, with the engobe of some pieces more attached to the earth rather than to the container itself, for example. If clean materials were located in situ with well-visible graphites, it would be something really surprising, if not highly suspicious.
Sometimes the archaeologist who finds a piece performs a mechanical cleaning in situ, usually because there is something of it that catches your eye. For example. a mold decoration that is intuited under the attached earth and you want to see it in the moment. Sometimes this "cleaning" involves the discovery, for example, of graphite or any other relevant detail, until that unknown moment. And then we proceed to the coordinate take of the exact point where it appeared. But often the apparently normal fragments of material are simply deposited in a container next to the rest of the evidence (or 'general material') that are located in the same stratum. And this is because of the dynamics of excavation itself, especially in a site where hundreds of fragments of archaeological material appear daily. Therefore, it is during the processing of the material, that is, during its cleaning, when the presence of graphites engraved in the archaeological material is mostly discovered. And generally, it is on graphites where adhesions accumulate the most, which sometimes jump more easily precisely in the areas of the grooves and others do not.
On the other hand, we have already said that graphites are always identified either when lifting the piece from the ground or during the cleaning process. It is practically impossible to see them before taking material evidence from the earth, both because of the aforementioned dirt, and the fact that the graphites, let's not forget, are graphs of very small size. Nor can we fail to point out, even if it is a no-brainer, that graphite may be engraved on the other side, that is, by the face that is glued to the earth. If we reflect a little we will see that in the memories of excavation to use, there are no photos of graphites in situ, precisely for this reason, because they are seen after their uprising. If such photos appear, these are - most likely - "repositioned" pieces, which is still a small Deception.
Here we bring up an example of what we are saying. If we go to the 105 probe of the oyster and see the photos of the remains of a Tardorromana burial in situ which appeared in it, we will find that of a large dish of sigillata of the fifth century, preserved at the exact point where it was deposited as part of the funeral deposit. It is one of those cases in which the clay was tremendously attached to the ceramic surface. In fact, removing the land, the sticker was going with her. As we can see, the photo does not see (apparently), the presence of a graphite. The picture was taken because it was a burial. However, there was graphite, almost (and we say almost) invisible under the dirt. In short, that photographs of localized graphites in situ before lifting the piece where graphite is actually visible are virtually impossible. Whoever says otherwise is that he doesn't have much experience in the field and is not aware of how archaeological materials come out in an excavation.
Is there an explosion in the number of graphites found in the years 2005 – 2006?
In the excavations carried out by Gratiniano Nieto in Iruña-Veleia (1949-1954) and despite the drastic selection in the collection of material (by which many graphites engraved on small-format elements, or on bone, for example, could be lost, he published 31 graffiti, although in the backgrounds of the Museum of Archaeology more are preserved. Already among these, there was some that evidenced a written embodiment of vulgar Latin or names of person of non-Latin origin, novel for the onomatic repertoires of Roman times. That is, graphites that could be considered exceptional.
For its part, the total of graphites inventoried in this site during the excavations led by Eliseo Gil (1994-2008) is 1536, although in this case the collection of the material was thorough and systematic, as corresponding to the use of a modern archaeological methodology. As a comparative example, we see that other sites from Roman times, such as Augusta Raurica (Switzerland), have also provided a large number of graphites, specifically and in the case of the Swiss site 1809 specimens.
Among these graphites some of exceptional character had already been detected before 2005 and have continued to appear until 2008, although it is true that the findings of this type of evidence were concentrated between 2005 and 2006. And it is that, outside these two years, they appeared as an isolated graphic manifestation, along with other usual archaeological evidence, within their corresponding stratigraphic contexts. In this case, we would have, for example, some interpretable as elements of Christian iconography, such as two chrysmones or a superb glass glass from a Renaissance workshop with a legend (by the way, with a high-angle "M" engraved in his home workshop) and iconography also interpretable as Christian in nature. These findings were once published and assumed by the scientific community, without further problems.
But certainly, it is in 2005 and 2006, when the greatest number of findings occurred than we might consider exceptional graphites, both in isolation – and described above – and forming coherent ensembles, in the sense that they appeared in archaeological strata from Roman times, along with thousands of evidences of such a chronology, but, instead of appearing in isolation , they did so in specific contexts and in sufficient numbers to be considered as sets, a fact that exponentially multiplied their number. On the other hand, the diversification of the points where exceptional graphites were located was mainly due to an intensification of excavation work at the site, both when working in large areas inside the walled enclosure, and by the execution of almost 300 surveys outside the site, within a project for the delimitation of the site for its protection.
Already Cypress and Santos, pointed out that «Another common component of the epigraphy of Roman sites is graphites. In some cases these are parietal graphites (painted on the walls, as with the famous graphites of the city of Pompeii), in others the writing has been made with ink on wooden tablets (as is the case of those that appeared in the excavations of the Roman camp in Vindolanda in the Vallum Hadriani) and, finally, the largest group and that is not lacking in any deposit , the one formed by inscriptions engraved on support of materials of different type (ceramic, basically, but not only sigillata, but also on glass, bone and even metal). This material offers valuable information that extends the data provided by the other epigraphic and archaeological testimonies.
A este último grupo pertenece el gran número de grafitos descubiertos hasta el presente en el yacimiento de Iruña-Veleia, un yacimiento que ya desde antiguo ha proporcionado gran cantidad de material de este tipo. Pero ha sido sin duda a partir de los hallazgos del conjunto de grafitos en la estancia de la casa de Pompeia Valentina en el Sector 5 del yacimiento, en el verano de 2005 y de otros conjuntos con menor número de ejemplares, aunque también numerosos, en otras estancias intramuros como resultado de excavación, o extramuros en el transcurso del proceso de sondeos para la delimitación del yacimiento, cuando los grafitos conocidos en Iruña-Veleia han superado el número y la variedad del resto de conjuntos conocidos en otras ciudades romanas de Hispania y de otras grandes ciudades del Imperio«.
Juan Santos Yanguas – Pilar Ciprés Torres UPV/EHU: «Informe sobre la epigrafía del yacimiento romano de Iruña-Veleia», incluido en el Informe sobre los hallazgos de grafitos de carácter excepcional Idoia Filloy Nieva – Eliseo Gil Zubillaga, 2007. Pág. 162.
Y en la nota 65 de esa misma página, señalan en relación a las antiguas excavaciones de Nieto: «Hay que hacer notar que en la obra de G. Nieto (1958): El oppidum de Iruña, Vitoria-Gasteiz, se recogen ya 31 ejemplares de este tipo de inscripciones, en un momento en que la dinámica de las excavaciones llevaba a que piezas arqueológicas de estas características fueran despreciadas, porque se buscaba sobre todo material digno de ser expuesto, como la figura togata del Museo Arqueológico Provincial, por ejemplo«.
Informe de mayo 2007 presentado a la Comisión el día 16 de enero 2008
Así, presentamos aquí un total de 420 grafitos, repartidos en 20 puntos de excavación diferentes (sector, sondeo o prospección) del extenso yacimiento de Iruña-Veleia.
Ostracabase en números
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