Portus, the Via Campana/Portuensis and Rome
October 5, 2012
by Peter Wheeler
My work on the Portus project concentrates on the surroundings of the port and aims at gaining a better understanding of the nature of connections between a port and associated hinterland.
I use an interdisciplinary research design that integrates the traditional archaeological approaches to studying trade through the distribution of ceramics, and epigraphic-based approaches to study of the origin and movement of individuals, with help from the IT-based methodologies of landscape archaeology. The initial focus of this work was the area of Via Campana/Portuensis which facilitated Portus’ overland link with Rome, and findings have been presented at the AIEGL Conference in Berlin in August 2012. Currently I am enlarging this area to include the left bank of the Tiber- surroundings of Ostia and Via Ostiensis. The patterns observed will then be compared with the material from some of the other Western Mediterranean ports with comparable levels of archaeological and epigraphic research and publication- most probably Hispalis, Tarraco, and Leptis Magna. Interrelationships between port-based individuals and their involvement in observable movements of goods into and between ports will be researched, and contextualized through their impact upon the port hinterland. This work should provide valuable insight into the workings of port networks and the associated communities in the Roman Mediterranean.