A team of international researchers led by La Trobe University and the University of Melbourne have, for the first time worldwide, applied marine geology techniques at an ancient harbour archaeological site to uncover ancient harbour technologies of the first centuries AD [Credit: La Trobe University]
Researchers successfully reconstructed anthropic influences on sedimentation, including dredging and canal gates use, in the ancient harbour of Portus - a complex of harbour basins and canals that formed the hub of commerce in the capital of the Roman Empire.
The findings suggest that the Romans were proactively managing their river systems from earlier than previously thought - as early as the 2nd century AD.
The history was reconstructed using a range of high-resolution sediment analysis including piston coring, x-ray scanning, radiocarbon dating, magnetic and physical properties and mineral composition of the ancient harbour sediments.
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