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This content is taken from the University of Southampton's online course, Archaeology of Portus: Exploring the Lost Harbour of Ancient Rome. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 5 seconds DRAGANA MLADENOVIC: Hello, welcome to week four. You’re nearly there. So what have we learned so far? Well, it seems quite a lot. By now, we know the role of Portus within the Roman Mediterranean. We also understand how it functioned within the system of ports of imperial Rome. We looked at how the site was established. We looked at how it got transformed throughout the second century. We looked at some of the major buildings. Also, we looked at how we studied the site as a whole– first, by non-destructive means, and how we also studied the landscape of the site. So exciting news– this week, we get to excavate. And excavation is the most exciting part of archaeologists’ work.

Skip to 0 minutes and 47 seconds But it’s also– well, it’s dangerous, actually, because it’s destructive. You only get one go at it. And if you’ve done it poorly, you have destroyed information that has been preserved in the ground for thousands of years. So it has to be done meticulously. It has to be recorded really, really well. And this is what we’ll tell you a bit more about this week. Also, we’ll look at some other buildings. We will look at the mysterious Building Five. We’ll look at some of the digital technologies that we do to reconstruct and to simulate the environment of the ports to see how this site actually worked, and to analyse some of the buildings and see how we can reconstruct them best.

Skip to 1 minute and 29 seconds And also, we’ll move on on the chronological scale, and we’ll look at what happened in the third and the fourth century. So let’s see what happens next.

Digging into the Fourth Century

So, we are now ready to getting going on week four!

Wondering about the background behind me in the video? Perhaps you can recognize it? It was the entrance to the Lanterna Baths, which were probably still in use in the 3rd and 4th centuries, our focus for this week.

In the next video Simon will talk about the Roman world and Portus at this time, and then I will be back to start talking you through excavation methods and recording.


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This video is from the free online course:

Archaeology of Portus: Exploring the Lost Harbour of Ancient Rome

University of Southampton