Portus and its Hinterland

Portus and the Mediterranean
Portus and the Mediterranean

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.

The aim of the project is to study a large network of Roman Mediterranean ports, including Portus, from Turkey in the east, to Spain in the west. I, in collaboration with my colleague, Professor Pascal Arnaud (Université Lyon2 La Lumière), will be leading this “Roman Mediterranean Ports project” and analyzing 31 ports in nine different countries with colleagues from a range of key European institutions and Universities. The project, which is due to start on the 1st February 2014, will analyze the sites using a combination of geophysical surveys (including ground penetrating radar), data from satellite imagery, geoarchaeological studies and the study of ancient texts and inscriptions. Crucially the project will bring together a broad range of expertise – broad in terms of discipline, and also the location of the researchers and the sites studied.

The second of these was the first meeting of a new research initiative into the Tiber Delta being coordinated by the Ecole Francaise de Rome, the British School at Rome, the Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Roma, the CROMA of the Universita di Roma Tre held in 2013. The event was entitled “Roma, Tevere, Litorale. 3000 anni di storia, le sfide del future”. You can read a piece by me on hypotheses.org that looks at some of the future challenges to our understanding of Portus, as well as pieces by other participants at the event.