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.

About The Course

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.

Recommended Background

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.