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Week 1

Reflecting on Week One

What an amazing first week of the course, once again! It has been fantastic for all of us involved and we are so grateful for the breadth and depth of comments coming from everyone on the course. Reading and participating in the discussions really gives us a sense of the enthusiasm people have for learning about Portus. The step that stood out for me this week was the discussions around the Portus in the 1st Century First Century (requires login). Continue reading →

Italian translation of week one topics

Once again Eleonora has translated the summaries of the week one activities into Italian in order to support sharing of the course via Italian social media. As discussed previously the course itself runs in English and it is not possible to moderate the posts on the FL platform in English and Italian. This would require Italian speakers on the FutureLearn platform which is monitored 24 hours a day. Continue reading →

Week One – Your Questions Answered

  As part of Week Six we are today concentrating on answering questions raised on Week One. As a starting point Simon and I have created a video.   We have also added a video by Katherine where she introduces her research at Ostia and how it relates to Portus.   We have also added some additional cross-references to Hadrian's Wall course both on the platform and on the blog for those of you who are registered on both. Continue reading →

Simulating Roman Trade Patterns

I am a professional software developer and also studying for a PhD part time at the University of Southampton. My main interest at the moment is in the simulation of different routes connecting Portus to the other ports of the Mediterranean – topics discussed way back in Week One of the course e.g. in the Links to Other Ports step. My work uses a combination of computational approaches. Continue reading →

Who were the people who made the amphorae for Portus? The evidence from manufacturing techniques

An understanding of the manufacturing techniques and of the production sequence in terms of how pots are made provides us with an insight into the people making the ceramics. The clay, the raw material, is a plastic additive medium, allowing for traces of its manipulation by the potters, to be left in the finished ceramic product. Fashioning methods, or manufacturing techniques, used in creating a vessel are usually detectable. Continue reading →

Sharing links

David Potts who is a PhD student in the Archaeological Computing Research Group at Southampton has extracted the links that were shared on the platform in the first few weeks. We will update this list to help you to build your own reference collections of supplementary material. Add the end of the course we will archive these links to and to make them more accessible. Continue reading →

Cross-referencing my thesis to the course

I provided a link to my PhD thesis early on in the course in Week One on the Find of the Week - amphora sherds from Leptis Magna step. In addition to this step I thought you might be interested to follow through from other steps to my thesis and vice versa. The "direct links" *should* take you to specific pages in the thesis, but the behaviour varies according to your device and setup. You can access the whole thesis in any case from the reference below. Continue reading →

Roman Mediterranean Shipping

Some of the learners on the course have requested more information about the types of ships in the Roman Mediterranean. The diverse ships and boats at Portus itself would have ranged from giant long-distance merchant ships, through vessels engaged in coastal trade, to small fishing boats capable of travelling only a few miles. In addition, there would have been many different types of vessel present, dedicated to the service of the port itself. Continue reading →

Roman ships at Portus

In response to queries from learners I thought I would provide some additional information about evidence for the Roman ships at Portus. We can expect the basins and canals at Portus to have been crowded with hundreds of commercial ships and boats; one recent estimate, for example, suggests that c. 1800 sea-going ships may have anchored in the Trajanic basin each year. Continue reading →