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Digging into the Fourth Century

What are we doing in Week 4?
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.
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.
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.
So, we are now ready to getting going on Week 4.
Wondering about the background behind Dragana 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 Dragana will be back to start talking you through excavation methods and recording.
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Archaeology of Portus: Exploring the Lost Harbour of Ancient Rome

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