Environmental research in ancient Roman harbours

Proponente Laura Sadori - Professore Ordinario
Sottosettore ERC del proponente del progetto
Componenti gruppo di ricerca

The ancient port built along the Tyrrhenian coast by Roman Emperor Claudius (mid of 1st Cent. AD) and enlarged by Emperor Trajan (beginning of 2nd Cent. AD) was Rome¿s principal maritime port. The remains of the port and of the town raised in the close vicinity are at present ca. 3 km away from the present coastline, in the Tiber delta. The harbour town named Portus developed together with the port itself and expanded in the following centuries.
The study will take into consideration data already published from two cores drilled in the dock and canale Trasverso of the Claudius harbour (Mazzini et al., 2011. J. Paleolimnol. 46: 243-256; Pepe et al., 2013. Quat. Int. 303: 73-81; Sadori et al., 2010. J. Archaeol. Sci. 37: 3294-3305) and new data of one core taken in the centre of Trajan harbour, at present an artificial hexagonal lake. The chronological framing of the cores was carried out using magnetostratigraphy, radiocarbon dates, archaeological evidences and historical sources. The three cores, partly overlapping, cover different periods of time of the port history, from the middle of the first century onwards. Detailed sediment analyses were carried out on Trajan core.
Pollen, Non Pollen Palynomorph (NPP), microcharcoal and plant macroremain analyses will be integrated by dinoflagellate cysts, ostracod and foraminifer analyses to provide a detailed reconstruction of the air and water environments.
The plant landscape of the dock core is typical of a coastal environment and appears rather preserved. The human presence is clear, but not of great impact. The channel core records mainly a strong human impact related to the presence of Portus, the port town.
Preliminary data on the lake Trajan core show the clear evidence of the huge works for the port excavation and records the history of the area also after the abandonment of the port and its isolation from the sea, even recording the reclamation of the area occurred in the early twentieth century.

LS8_7, PE10_3, PE10_4

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