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The Canale di Comunicazione Traverso in Portus: the Roman sea harbour under river influence (Tiber delta, Italy)

The Canale di Comunicazione Traverso in Portus: the Roman sea harbour under river influence (Tiber delta, Italy)
The Canale di Comunicazione Traverso in Portus: the Roman sea harbour under river influence (Tiber delta, Italy)
Portus was Rome’s maritime port during the Roman Empire. In AD 42, the harbour location was selected about 3 km north of Ostia, along the Tyrrhenian coast, on the margin of the Tiber River. Portus and its maritime façade are well known, however the fluvial aspects of Portus are poorly documented. How did Roman engineers preserve a continuous waterway from the basins of Portus to the Tiber River without accelerating siltation inside the harbour? Were their choices efficient? The present Canale di Comunicazione Traverso is the only canal attested to link the Tiber River and the harbour basins. The objective of this work is to analyse the Canale Traverso sediments infill in order to establish the role of this canal in relation to the infill deposits of the harbour basins and to define the functions of the canal. This study is based primarily on a reinterpretation of the available archaeological data, as well as mainly on sedimentological analysis and the interpretation of the Passega diagram. A Passega diagram is presented for understanding the deposit processes for the harbour environments at the entrance to the Trajanic basin (TR-XIV). This diagram is compared to the Passega diagram of the Canale Traverso (CT-1) which is characterised by a stronger influence of the Tiber River. This study concludes that the Canale Traverso was a canal that was well protected from the influence of the Tiber River, with the exception of occasional flooding. Also, this paper presents the patterns of sedimentation at Portus and allows us to define the use of the canal and the maintenance procedures
1266-5304
75-90
Salomon, Ferreol
728f3798-6cd0-45eb-bd09-25ea7159769e
Delile, Hugo
343be332-c4ad-4b81-8dfe-d887de5228ab
Goiran, Jean-Philippe
0cae676a-890b-4b79-addf-85bc2ef7f8f1
Bravard, Jean-Paul
ea9d4568-dffa-47f4-8a2c-ce40efcf52f8
Keay, Simon
52b4cdfd-fc5e-4fa0-bd3e-8dd896624f41
Salomon, Ferreol
728f3798-6cd0-45eb-bd09-25ea7159769e
Delile, Hugo
343be332-c4ad-4b81-8dfe-d887de5228ab
Goiran, Jean-Philippe
0cae676a-890b-4b79-addf-85bc2ef7f8f1
Bravard, Jean-Paul
ea9d4568-dffa-47f4-8a2c-ce40efcf52f8
Keay, Simon
52b4cdfd-fc5e-4fa0-bd3e-8dd896624f41

Salomon, Ferreol, Delile, Hugo, Goiran, Jean-Philippe, Bravard, Jean-Paul and Keay, Simon (2012) The Canale di Comunicazione Traverso in Portus: the Roman sea harbour under river influence (Tiber delta, Italy). Géomorphologie : Relief, Processus, Environnement, 2012 (1), 75-90. (doi:10.4000/geomorphologie.9754).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Portus was Rome’s maritime port during the Roman Empire. In AD 42, the harbour location was selected about 3 km north of Ostia, along the Tyrrhenian coast, on the margin of the Tiber River. Portus and its maritime façade are well known, however the fluvial aspects of Portus are poorly documented. How did Roman engineers preserve a continuous waterway from the basins of Portus to the Tiber River without accelerating siltation inside the harbour? Were their choices efficient? The present Canale di Comunicazione Traverso is the only canal attested to link the Tiber River and the harbour basins. The objective of this work is to analyse the Canale Traverso sediments infill in order to establish the role of this canal in relation to the infill deposits of the harbour basins and to define the functions of the canal. This study is based primarily on a reinterpretation of the available archaeological data, as well as mainly on sedimentological analysis and the interpretation of the Passega diagram. A Passega diagram is presented for understanding the deposit processes for the harbour environments at the entrance to the Trajanic basin (TR-XIV). This diagram is compared to the Passega diagram of the Canale Traverso (CT-1) which is characterised by a stronger influence of the Tiber River. This study concludes that the Canale Traverso was a canal that was well protected from the influence of the Tiber River, with the exception of occasional flooding. Also, this paper presents the patterns of sedimentation at Portus and allows us to define the use of the canal and the maintenance procedures

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Salomon et al_2012 Geomorph - Canale Traverso Portus.pdf - Accepted Manuscript
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Published date: 2012
Organisations: Archaeology

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Local EPrints ID: 378835
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/378835
ISSN: 1266-5304
PURE UUID: a861c028-083e-4e48-b9a6-cb8abcde8a35

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Date deposited: 17 Jul 2015 10:47
Last modified: 19 Jul 2019 20:40

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Author: Ferreol Salomon
Author: Hugo Delile
Author: Jean-Philippe Goiran
Author: Jean-Paul Bravard
Author: Simon Keay

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