News release

Southampton archaeological research features in major BBC documentary

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05 December 2012

Professor Simon Keay

Simon will feature on BBC1's Rome's Lost Empire

University of Southampton Professor and Head of Archaeology, Simon Keay, is featuring alongside TV presenter Dan Snow in the prime-time BBC One documentary ‘Rome’s Lost Empire’ (first showing Sunday 9 December 2012 at 8.40pm).

Professor Keay has spent fifteen years excavating Portus, the ancient port of Rome and his research has attracted widespread media coverage since 2009, with the discovery of a Roman amphitheatre, imperial palace and later a ship shed at the site.

This latest documentary attempts to use satellite technology to reveal the secrets of the Roman Empire. Dan Snow and space archaeologist Sarah Parcak (University of Alabama) set out to identify and track down lost cities, amphitheatres and forts in an adventure through some of the most spectacular parts of the vast empire. Cutting-edge technology and traditional archaeology help build a better understanding of how Rome held such a large empire together for so long.

Portus was a crucial trade gateway linking Rome to the Mediterranean throughout the Imperial period and Professor Keay and his team have been exploring the site through traditional excavation, land and underwater surveying and computer graphic visualisations – produced by the Archaeologcial Computing Research Group led by Dr Graeme Earl.

The makers of ‘Rome’s Lost Empire’ speak to Professor Keay and draw on his extensive research to produce their own vision of Portus and explain its significance in the Roman Empire.

More about ‘Rome’s Lost Empire’.

More about the Portus Project.

Our press releases about the Portus Project from 2009 and 2011.