Researchers from the universities of Southampton and Cambridge have discovered a new section of the boundary wall of the ancient Roman port of Ostia, proving the city was much larger than previously estimated. The team, led by Professor Simon Keay (Southampton) and Professor Martin Millet (Cambridge), has been conducting a survey of an area of land lying between Ostia and Portus.
The work has been undertaken as part of the Portus Project, in collaboration with the British School at Rome and Paolo Germoni and Angelo Pellegrino of the Soprintendenza Speciale per I Beni Archeologici di Roma. Previously, scholars thought that the Tiber formed the northern edge of Ostia, however this new research, using geophysical survey techniques to examine the site, has shown that Ostia’s city wall also continued on the other side of the river. The researchers have shown this newly discovered area enclosed three huge, previously unknown warehouses – the largest of which was the size of a football pitch.