Republication from 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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