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Palaeoenvironmental evolution of the ancient lagoon of Ostia Antica (Tiber delta, Italy)

Palaeoenvironmental evolution of the ancient lagoon of Ostia Antica (Tiber delta, Italy)
Palaeoenvironmental evolution of the ancient lagoon of Ostia Antica (Tiber delta, Italy)
The ancient lagoon of Ostia played a key role in the development of the cultures of central Italy and especially that of Rome. The evolution of its environmental history and its partial transformation into a saline body of water during Antiquity remain as poorly known to archaeologists and historians as to geologists and geographers. A high chronostratigraphical resolution palaeoenvironmental study has been carried out on a sediment core. It is based on multi-proxy analysis and pays particular attention to ostracods, which are very useful palaeoenvironmental indicators in marginal marine environments. Our study has unveiled five evolution phases of the landscapes in the countryside of Ostia: (1) between the 6th and the middle of the 2nd millennia BC a lagoon open to the sea was formed; (2) the lagoonwas then subject to marine and fluvial influences,; (3) between the middle of the 2nd and the beginning of the 1st millennia BC, a marshland formed, indicating either a period of limited flooding or a shifting of the branch of the Tiber; (4) during the first part of the 1st millennium BC, the lagoon became again connected to the sea. In this area, its depth at the time of the founding of Ostia varied between 3.5 m and 4.5 m (below ancient sea level), which suggests that it could have served as a naturally sheltered place on the coast; (5) from the middle of the 1st millennia BC to the 19th century AD, the lagoon probably remained connected to the sea and progressively silted, until it disappeared in the 19th century
geoarchaeology, ostracodology, palaeoenvironment, ostia lagoon, tiber delta
0305-4403
374-384
Vittori, Cécile
4437bc2c-8312-496a-b4b5-429c83e959d1
Mazzini, Illaria
256332c6-e6a9-4b79-9bdc-bd45f27a5791
Salomon, Ferreol
728f3798-6cd0-45eb-bd09-25ea7159769e
Goiran, Jean-Philippe
0cae676a-890b-4b79-addf-85bc2ef7f8f1
Pannuzi, Simona
bd78d0a5-0a2e-4ac7-ba2c-220febf9ae30
Rosa, Carlo
9e2e088d-100b-4614-bed5-e19170ffc32d
Pellegrino, Angelo
61bbc66d-2088-4542-be62-7a146c4cdd50
Vittori, Cécile
4437bc2c-8312-496a-b4b5-429c83e959d1
Mazzini, Illaria
256332c6-e6a9-4b79-9bdc-bd45f27a5791
Salomon, Ferreol
728f3798-6cd0-45eb-bd09-25ea7159769e
Goiran, Jean-Philippe
0cae676a-890b-4b79-addf-85bc2ef7f8f1
Pannuzi, Simona
bd78d0a5-0a2e-4ac7-ba2c-220febf9ae30
Rosa, Carlo
9e2e088d-100b-4614-bed5-e19170ffc32d
Pellegrino, Angelo
61bbc66d-2088-4542-be62-7a146c4cdd50

Vittori, Cécile, Mazzini, Illaria, Salomon, Ferreol, Goiran, Jean-Philippe, Pannuzi, Simona, Rosa, Carlo and Pellegrino, Angelo (2015) Palaeoenvironmental evolution of the ancient lagoon of Ostia Antica (Tiber delta, Italy). Journal of Archaeological Science, 54, 374-384. (doi:10.1016/j.jas.2014.06.017).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The ancient lagoon of Ostia played a key role in the development of the cultures of central Italy and especially that of Rome. The evolution of its environmental history and its partial transformation into a saline body of water during Antiquity remain as poorly known to archaeologists and historians as to geologists and geographers. A high chronostratigraphical resolution palaeoenvironmental study has been carried out on a sediment core. It is based on multi-proxy analysis and pays particular attention to ostracods, which are very useful palaeoenvironmental indicators in marginal marine environments. Our study has unveiled five evolution phases of the landscapes in the countryside of Ostia: (1) between the 6th and the middle of the 2nd millennia BC a lagoon open to the sea was formed; (2) the lagoonwas then subject to marine and fluvial influences,; (3) between the middle of the 2nd and the beginning of the 1st millennia BC, a marshland formed, indicating either a period of limited flooding or a shifting of the branch of the Tiber; (4) during the first part of the 1st millennium BC, the lagoon became again connected to the sea. In this area, its depth at the time of the founding of Ostia varied between 3.5 m and 4.5 m (below ancient sea level), which suggests that it could have served as a naturally sheltered place on the coast; (5) from the middle of the 1st millennia BC to the 19th century AD, the lagoon probably remained connected to the sea and progressively silted, until it disappeared in the 19th century

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Vittori Mazzini Salomon et al 2015 JAS - Palaeolagoon of Ostia.pdf - Version of Record
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Accepted/In Press date: 23 August 2014
Published date: February 2015
Keywords: geoarchaeology, ostracodology, palaeoenvironment, ostia lagoon, tiber delta
Organisations: Archaeology

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Local EPrints ID: 378837
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/378837
ISSN: 0305-4403
PURE UUID: ce636c8c-1e68-4d67-9997-6a6e2ac4ad85

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Date deposited: 17 Jul 2015 10:53
Last modified: 19 Jul 2019 20:40

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Contributors

Author: Cécile Vittori
Author: Illaria Mazzini
Author: Ferreol Salomon
Author: Jean-Philippe Goiran
Author: Simona Pannuzi
Author: Carlo Rosa
Author: Angelo Pellegrino

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