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Data mining and image processing experiments on photographs from Portus

As large-scale data processing becomes easier and more affordable to everyone, so too increases the temptation to try and use new technologies and methods to reduce the amount of manual labor that usually comes with classifying and categorising big data collections. With textual data, the techniques of extracting useful information from unstructured data have already been more or less established. Continue reading →

Portus: Opera in natura

The Portus Project, comprising the Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Roma, the British School at Rome and the University of Southampton, has commissioned Franco Mapelli to give a visual interpretation of the Archaeological Park of the Trajanic Port. This exhibition is made up of 30 large-scale photographs through which the photographer focuses on the relationship between archaeological remains and nature. Continue reading →

Portus Summer Blog Round-Up

Between May and December last year I found myself working for quite a period of time on the Portus survey and excavations. The research and practical elements of the project were, as ever, thrilling, involving a large team of individuals from different backgrounds interested in different aspects of the archaeology of the site and surrounding landscape, and on the different approaches and methods applied as part of the project. Continue reading →

Portus in National Geographic Espana

It was very heartening to see that the National Geographic Espana, which is celebrating its 125th Anniversary, voted the results of our 2013 Portus Field School excavations, which were presented at a public lecture at Rome in November, as one of the ten principal archaeological finds of 2013. This is a great tribute to all the staff and students who were involved in the project. You can read a blog post about this on the National Geographic Espana website. Continue reading →

Portus and its Hinterland

As we enter a new year of research and education focused on Portus I thought I would flag up some wider activities from last year relating to the site, its hinterland and wider networks. The first of these is our new ERC funded project. In October 2013 the European Research Council announced that a bid that I had submitted to the Advanced Grant scheme for a project to the value of €2.49 million (£2.1 million) had been successful. Continue reading →

Geoarchaeology at Portus

In 2013, geoarchaeological research at Portus continued in order better to understand the configuration of the harbour itself and its connection to Ostia and Rome by waterways. This work was funded by the Research Innovation Fund of the University of Southampton. Coring the harbour basins On July 2013, three cores were drilled in front of the Grandi Horrea di Settimio Severo at the centre of Portus. Continue reading →

Broadcast of Rome’s Lost Empire and Portus Online Learning in 2014

Viewers in the UK will be able to watch a documentary focused on Portus tonight. The documentary called Rome's Lost Empire will be on BBC Four at 9:45pm GMT: "Dan Snow attempts to use the latest satellite technology to reveal the secrets of the Roman Empire. Together with space archaeologist Sarah Parcak, Dan sets out to identify and then track down lost cities, amphitheatres and forts in an adventure that sees him travel through some of the most spectacular parts of the vast empire. Continue reading →