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  • University of Southampton

Archaeology of Portus: Exploring the Lost Harbour of Ancient Rome

Learn how ancient artefacts, written evidence, excavation and digital technologies are transforming understanding of this harbour.

30,711 enrolled on this course

Archaeology of Portus: Exploring the Lost Harbour of Ancient Rome
  • Duration

    6 weeks
  • Weekly study

    4 hours

The Roman harbour city of Portus lay at the heart of an empire that extended from Scotland to Iraq. Established by Claudius and enlarged by the emperor Trajan with spoils of the Dacian wars, the port was the conduit for everything the city of Rome required from its Mediterranean provinces: the food and, particularly grain, that fed the largest urban population of the ancient world, as well as luxuries of all kinds, building materials, people and wild animals for the arena.

On this course you will chart a journey from the Imperial harbour to its connections across the Mediterranean, learning about what the archaeological discoveries uncovered by the Portus Project tell us about the history, landscape, buildings, and the people of this unique place. Although the site lies in ruins, it has some of the best-preserved Roman port buildings in the Mediterranean, and in this course you will learn to interpret these and the finds discovered within them, using primary research data and the virtual tools of the archaeologist.

Largely filmed on location at Portus, the course will provide you with an insight into the wide range of digital technologies employed to record, analyse and present the site. In addition to the lead educators, our enthusiastic team of student archaeologists will support your learning.

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Learning on this course

You can take this self-guided course and learn at your own pace. On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

Who is the course for?

We would like students who are fascinated by archaeology and history. The course will also appeal to students with an interest in technologies such as digital photography. No previous knowledge is required or assumed.

Who will you learn with?

Simon is Director of the Portus Project and Associate Dean for Research in the Faculty of Humanities. Dragana is Director of the Portus Field School and Graeme co-directs the Portus Project.

Who developed the course?

University of Southampton

Southampton is a place for ambitious people keen to stretch their intellectual abilities and help change the world.

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