Skip to comments.Ancient Rome was bigger than previously thought, archaeologists find
Posted on 04/17/2014 3:21:06 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
The researchers have been using an established technique known as magnetometry, which involves systematically and rapidly scanning the landscape with small handheld instruments in order to identify localised magnetic anomalies relating to buried ancient structures.
These are then mapped out with specialised computer software, providing images similar to aerial photographs, which can be interpreted by archaeologists. In antiquity, the landscape in this recent study was known as the Isola Sacra and was surrounded by a major canal to the north, the river Tiber to the east and south, and the Tyrrhenian sea to the west.
At the southernmost side of the Isola Sacra, the geophysical survey revealed very clear evidence for the town wall of Roman Ostia, interspersed by large towers several metres thick, and running east to west for about half a kilometre. In an area close by, known to archaeologists as the Trastevere Ostiense, the team also found very clear evidence for at least four major buildings.
Prof Keay said: ''Three of these buildings were probably warehouses that are similar in layout to those that have been previously excavated at Ostia itself, however the newly discovered buildings seem to be much larger. In addition, there is a massive 142 metre by 110 metre fourth building - composed of rows of columns running from north to south, but whose function is unknown.
(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...
British scientists have discovered a new section of the boundary wall of the river port of ancient Rome which they say proves that the city was much larger than previously estimated Photo: PA
Rome had urban sprawl before urban sprawl was cool.
I hear that ancient United States used to be pretty cool, too.
And now everyone in the world, except for the Italians, knows that they are third world.
there is a massive 142 metre by 110 metre fourth building -
Obviously a Walmartus Superior Basillica...
:’) The older part, the core of ancient Rome itself was a noisy, stinking, throbbing open wound; it had grown without building codes or zoning ordinances, unlike the nice neat grids the Romans used to build their colonial towns. The Roman Empire built template towns more or less like Walgreens builds template drug stores.
Early in the imperial period a law was passed prohibiting the use of carts during the daylight hours, because there wasn’t room for pedestrians and litter traffic as well as the carts. That meant that the carts — which delivered the many things needed by a city that size, every day — had to move at night, and the streets were paved with stone, so it was a massively loud town at night.
Ostia was Rome’s first conquest, and thanks to the burning of Rome by the Gauls, the archives were apparently lost, making the conquest of Ostia a prehistoric event, and generally dated to late 5th c BC, or 400 BC. The traditional foundation was in the 8th c, but there’s no known evidence for that.
Since the eastern half of the Roman Empire didn’t finally fall until the Turks took Constantinople, in 1453, the Roman Empire actually endured about 2000 years.
If that’s a warehouse, I’d be surprised if it hadn’t been used for grain. Roman grain ships were enormous, and Rome’s appetite for grain was unending. Grain was stockpiled during the autumn because availability was greatly reduced in the winter, as was the ability to move it by sea.
I wonder if the people who programmed the specialised computer software had previous experience with climate modeling?
Also, how do they know that the magnetometry technique is accurate? Because the manufacturer says so?
No wonder no one ever left the place after they wandered in.
I will be going there Saturday for a week. Can’t wait. Fifth visit.
I will be looking for the “larger Roma.”
Because it works.
Wow! Nice! And, I’m a little jealous. ;’)
No calorie information? Lawsuit!
:’) One of the items is a baked onion, which was staggeringly popular in Roman times, and probably a major source of nutrition, as well as being dirt cheap.
"Let the buyer beware."
What’s amazing is, most of Ostia was just abandoned at the end of the Empire (i.e., when the city of Rome fell) and apparently never occupied again.
Just because thousands of well-armed barbarians with really ugly reputations can be seen approaching by the dust cloud, everyone in Ostia (and probably most of the Romans) decided to hit the road, or in the case of those who had somewhere to land, take to ships.
The buildings of Ostia slowly got partially buried by blown in sand and whatnot, plus the decomposition of various wood construction elements. The whole place was just sticking out, everyone know what it was and where it was, and no one did anything much with it until, I think, Mussolini.
Claudius’ construction of a port at Ostia:
Let us know if you figure out how to get anyone to pay for your screed.
I"m not saying that article is wrong. I just don't accept, and others like it, it as being scientifically conclusive.
Have you even taken the case off a home computer, much less written a line of code? Better to scribble on a bathroom wall than post here. Have you ever done a picture puzzle? A computer can do it too, just a lot faster. It has nothing to do with climate change or warranties.
I would agree.
With that much grain they must have had a tremendous rat problem.
All the ancients must have.
Rats were only a problem for those who didn’t eat rats. But the Romans kept dogs, and they were experts at building stuff; as have many people, the Roman basically stuccoed their exteriors to cover up any holes or the mortar lines between the stones or bricks. Then they’d paint the whole thing. Over the intervening years, the plaster crumbled off, but is still seen on houses and whatnot in Pompeii and the other towns buried by Vesuvius. Grain storage was probably kept dry and safe from the rats using a stucco finish.
The underlying brick now looks like the market of Trajan:
Grain was shipped, I suspect, directly in the hulls of those ships; I’ve guessed this because of the way those ancient wrecks are found with all the amphorae intact, despite the fact that they often had pointed ends. The point makes sense if they were loaded in and burrowed down into the grain. After 2000 years on the bottom, the grain is long gone (assuming it didn’t just float up and away) and the amphorae are all still there, unbroken despite their trip to the abyss.
According to a historical novel about Rome I am currently reading, when the Gauls came in, most people fled to a nearby town they had recently conquered (Veii I think it was). The Gauls managed to burn and destroy a lot of Rome, and after they left it was decided to rebuild Rome and take most of the building materials from the other town’s buildings.
“The underlying brick now looks like the market of Trajan”
The first shopping center. I wonder if they had a Macy’s. I’d shop there; matter of fact, I’d shop anywhere. Female perogative.