Portus at the VI Seminario Ostiense

Preliminary results of the Portus Field School 2018 campaign have been presented at the VI Seminario Ostiense which took place at dell’Ecole Française de Rome in April this year. The extended version of the abstract can be found here, while the full report will be published in the conference proceedings.

Preliminary results of the Portus Field School 2018 campaign have been presented at the VI Seminario Ostiense which took place at dell’Ecole Française de Rome in April this year. The extended version of the abstract can be found here, while the full report will be published in the conference proceedings.

See you at Ostia Antica

As part of a series of monthly meetings “Vediamoci a Ostia Antica” (See you at Ostia Antica) organised by the Parco Archeologico di Ostia Antica, on the 11 September 2018 at 5pm Simon Keay, Cinzia Morelli and Renato Sebastiani will be speaking about “The Imperial port”. Download the programme

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As part of a series of monthly meetings “Vediamoci a Ostia Antica” (See you at Ostia Antica) organised by the Parco Archeologico di Ostia Antica, on the 11 September 2018 at 5pm Simon Keay, Cinzia Morelli and Renato Sebastiani will be speaking about “The Imperial port”.

Download the programme

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Photogrammetric modelling of the Grandi Magazzini di Settimio Severo

The large brick building known as the ‘Grandi Magazzini di Settimio Severo’ lies at the heart of the port complex at Portus, at the head of the canal that opened into the Trajanic hexagonal harbour. Traditionally identified as a warehouse of the later second-century AD, its central position within the port, as well as its size (190m x 130m x …

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The large brick building known as the ‘Grandi Magazzini di Settimio Severo’ lies at the heart of the port complex at Portus, at the head of the canal that opened into the Trajanic hexagonal harbour.

Traditionally identified as a warehouse of the later second-century AD, its central position within the port, as well as its size (190m x 130m x 25m) suggests that it may have had several functions. The presence of a series of ramps connecting it with the Trajanic harbour and a staircase at the western end reveal that the building was built over at least three floors.

The building appears in plans of Portus as early as 1827 (Luigi Canina) and follows a similar format in both the drawings of Gismondi (1933) and Testaguzza (1965), as a U-shaped structure that opened on to the Canale di Imbocco al Porto di Traiano as well as the hexagonal harbour. The most recent detailed plans of the building (Parco Archeologico di Ostia) were used as the basis for an initial series of 3D visualisations that investigated both the southern façade and internal movement (some of these models can be seen in the project’s photostream on Flickr). More recently, other variations of the layout and height of the building have been investigated as part of an overall reconstruction of Portus (see the work of Artasmedia).

In 2017 an initial photogrammetric survey was made of the external southern façade of the building to provide precise scaled model of the standing structure which can be integrated with the earlier 3D modelling. Using the photogrammetry software Agisoft  several hundred photographs were taken, providing the initial framework for the model.

Subsequently the interiors of several ground floor warehouses were also recorded as the standing building survey showed that there were a number of different types used throughout the structure.

The photogrammetry will continue this summer during the 2018 Portus Field School with the aim of recording the northern façade of the building.

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New investigations of the northern mole of the Claudian harbour

Excavations of the northern mole of the Claudian harbour began in 1957 with the construction of the international airport of Leonardo da Vinci at Fiumicino (for a news report of 1959 see Archivio Storico Luce). The work was recorded in great detail by Otello Testaguzza (Portus: illustrazione dei Porti di Claudio e Traiano e della citta di Porto a Fiumicino) …

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Claudian mole
Photo: Stephen Kay

Excavations of the northern mole of the Claudian harbour began in 1957 with the construction of the international airport of Leonardo da Vinci at Fiumicino (for a news report of 1959 see Archivio Storico Luce). The work was recorded in great detail by Otello Testaguzza (Portus: illustrazione dei Porti di Claudio e Traiano e della citta di Porto a Fiumicino) revealing both the different types of construction technique used to build the mole as well as it’s trajectory westward into the open sea. Over 800m of the mole was revealed, parts of which are still visible outside the airport today.

More recently research has been conducted by the Parco Archaeologico di Ostia Antica (ex Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici di Ostia) to trace the continuation of the mole towards the hypothesised location of the great lighthouse. Published in the BSR monograph Portus and its Hinterland in 2011 , the work involved a series of cores in the area of Pesce Luna (immediately to the west of viale Coccia di Morte) and was successful in locating a spread of construction material westward from the road.

Photo: Stephen Kay

In 2016 the Portus Project conducted a first season of geophysical survey in the same  locality with the aim of using Ground-Penetrating Radar to follow the course of the mole, as indicated by the earlier research. The GPR survey did not record a single continuous anomaly as had been hypothesised, but rather a series of interspersed concentrations, suggesting the possibility of later spoliation or a different form of structure.

A second season of geophysical survey was undertaken in 2017 using the technique of Electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) to further investigate at a greater depth the discontinuous anomalies recorded by the GPR. A total of 24 straight profiles were collected, divided equally in two areas of investigation. Each profile measured 128m with a linear spacing of the electrodes at 2m and a traverse spacing of 4m. The results of the pseudo-sections were then used to guide the placement of 3 new geo-archaeological cores to test the results, one directly above a large feature recorded by the ERT.

The combination of the techniques revealed that the northern mole is preserved at a depth of approximately 9m and continues to a depth of 15m. This spring a final season of ERT will be conducted with the aim of completing the coverage from Viale Coccia di Morte westward towards the lighthouse. Whilst the earlier work of Morelli et al (2011) had provided the approximate location of the mole, the aim now is to understand whether the mole was one continuous structure or perhaps built with a series of arches resting on piers.

Bibliography

Morelli, C., Marinucci, A. and Arnoldus-Huyzendveld, A. Il Porto di Claudio: nuove scoperte, in S.Keay and L.Paroli (eds) Portus and its hinterland, Archaeological Monographs of the British School at Rome 18, 2011: 47-65.

Testaguzza, O. (1970) Portus: illustrazione dei Porti di Claudio e Traiano e della citta di Porto a Fiumicino. Rome, Julia Editrice.

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Portus now forms part of the Parco Archeologico di Ostia Antica

Administratively, Portus now forms part of the Parco Archeologico di Ostia Antica, as a consequence if the recent cultural heritage re-organization by the Franceschini reforms by the Italian State.
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The post Portus now forms part of the Parco …

Administratively, Portus now forms part of the Parco Archeologico di Ostia Antica, as a consequence if the recent cultural heritage re-organization by the Franceschini reforms by the Italian State.

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Portus Field School 2018

The Portus Field School will run again this summer, between June 18th and 29th. In the two weeks we plan to reveal a section of the norther facade of the Palazzo Imperiale opening towards the port of Claudius, as well as finish the photogrammetry of the Severan warehouses. All those interested should get in touch with me- please see the …

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The Portus Field School will run again this summer, between June 18th and 29th. In the two weeks we plan to reveal a section of the norther facade of the Palazzo Imperiale opening towards the port of Claudius, as well as finish the photogrammetry of the Severan warehouses. All those interested should get in touch with me- please see the Application Process tab for details of how to apply.

Portus Field School 2015

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Portus Field School 2018

The Portus Field School will run again this summer, between June 18th and 29th. In the two weeks we plan to reveal a section of the norther facade of the Palazzo Imperiale opening towards the port of Claudius, as well as finish the photogrammetry of the Severan warehouses. All those interested should get in touch with me- please see the …

The post Portus Field School 2018 appeared first on Portus Project.

The Portus Field School will run again this summer, between June 18th and 29th. In the two weeks we plan to reveal a section of the norther facade of the Palazzo Imperiale opening towards the port of Claudius, as well as finish the photogrammetry of the Severan warehouses. All those interested should get in touch with me- please see the Application Process tab for details of how to apply.

Portus Field School 2015

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Navigating the Harbours and Canals of the Portus Romae

Professor Simon Keay will present at the The Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies an May 15th, 2018.  Title of the lecture is: “Navigating the Harbours and Canals of the Portus Romae: new approaches” Read more

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Professor Simon Keay will present at the The Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies an May 15th, 2018.  Title of the lecture is: “Navigating the Harbours and Canals of the Portus Romae: new approaches”

Read more

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Roman archaeology conference 2018

Professor Simon Keay will present at Roman archaeology conference in Edinburgh,  in April 12th, 2018. Download the conference programme.

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Professor Simon Keay will present at Roman archaeology conference in Edinburgh,  in April 12th, 2018. Download the conference programme.

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Survey works in 2016 and 2017

Steve Kay and Sophie Hay undertook GPR and Electrical Resistance Tomography Survey on the Claudian mole in the port of Claudius in spring 2016 and 2017, and are due to do so again in spring 2018. The work was funded by the Portuslimen Project undertaken in close collaboration with the British School at Rome. Steve also undertook the first season …

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Steve Kay and Sophie Hay undertook GPR and Electrical Resistance Tomography Survey on the Claudian mole in the port of Claudius in spring 2016 and 2017, and are due to do so again in spring 2018. The work was funded by the Portuslimen Project undertaken in close collaboration with the British School at Rome.

Steve also undertook the first season of a photogrammetric survey of the Grandi Magazzini di Settimio Severo.

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