The very large extent of the Palazzo Imperiale and its adjacent buildings means that excavations at Portus have had to be carried out on a sufficiently large scale to provide meaningful results. However, as excavation is a costly and destructive exercise, it has been carefully targeted here to address specific questions about the development of the site raised through our topographic and geophysical surveys. Furthermore, areas chosen for excavation have had to take into account significant modern disturbances, such as a path running through the Palazzo Imperiale, which have made it hard to relate separate areas and structures that were once part of an integrated complex.
In light of these considerations, four areas of open excavation have become the focus of the Portus Project, located within different parts of the Palazzo Imperiale and the large building (Building 5) identified as a shipyard that lies to the south-east. Some fourteen different periods of occupation have been uncovered.
Excavation at Portus between 2009 and 2011
Photos: Hembo Pagi / ACRG