Portus Project

Portus Project

The Trajanic harbour, Portus
Excavation of the Palazzo Imperiale, Portus
End of week site tour, Portus Project field school
Virtual reconstruction of the Grandi Magazzini, Portus

The Portus Project is a long-term research initiative that examines the character and development of the Imperial port of Rome as well as its relationship to Ostia, Rome and the Mediterranean at large. The harbour was the nexus of the empire’s trading economy, the study of which enables researchers to better understand how the empire operated; how it fed itself, traded within and beyond its borders and met the enormous economic demands of its huge citizenry.

The project, established by Professor Simon Keay (1954-2021), commenced in 1998 with a major geophysical survey and has since comprised eight years excavation, focused on a central area between the Trajanic hexagonal harbour and the Claudian basin. The excavations have brought to light a small amphitheatre, parts of a major cistern complex and more recently have focused on the ‘Palazzo Imperiale’.

More recently, work has focused on the Claudian harbour through a series of geophysical investigations and deep coring, with the aim of defining the extent of the basin and its abandonment.

For more information, visit the project website: https://www.portusproject.org/

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