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The University of Southampton
Archaeology Part of Humanities

The Vice-Chancellor visits archaeological excavations at Portus

Published: 2 December 2011
The Vice-Chancellor excavating

University of Southampton Vice-Chancellor Professor Don Nutbeam has visited the excavations of a large shipyard at Portus, the ancient port of Rome, where University archaeologists are working with the British School at Rome (BSR) and Italian colleagues.

The Vice-Chancellor and other invited guests met students working at the remains of the massive second century building near the heart of Roman port, which borders Rome’s present day international airport. The party included Southampton’s Dean of Humanities, Professor Anne Curry, Dr Angelo Pellegrino, Inspettore of the Soprintendenza Speciale per I Beni Archeologici di Roma, Count Enrico Floridi, an Italian landowner who is interested in the project, and a number of Southampton alumni.

“Our guests enjoyed discovering more about Rome’s maritime history,” comments Southampton Professor Simon Keay and Portus Project Director. “Few Roman Imperial shipyards have been discovered and, if our identification is correct, this would be the largest of its kind in Italy or the Mediterranean.”

Geophysicists from the University’s Archaeological Prospection Services and BSR have been surveying the area around the building to gain more information about its still partially buried structure. Members of Southampton’s Archaeological Computing Research Group, led by Dr Graeme Earl, have also created a computer graphic simulation, to provide both valuable visual data on its layout and construction and an impression of how it appeared and may have been used.

The 12 year Portus project has received extensive funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) along with financial support from the Archaeological Superintendancy of Rome, the University of Southampton and the British School at Rome .

To learn more about our research at Portus visit the Portus website .

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