posted on Sep, 22 2011 @ 10:33 AM
University of Southampton and British School at Rome (BSR) archaeologists, leading an international excavation of Portus – the ancient
port of Rome, believe they have discovered a large Roman shipyard
The team, working with the Italian Archaeological Superintendancy of Rome, has uncovered the remains of a massive building close to the distinctive
hexagonal basin or 'harbour', at the centre of the port complex.
University of Southampton Professor and Portus Project Director, Simon Keay comments,
"At first we thought this large rectangular building was used as a warehouse, but our latest excavation has uncovered evidence that there may have
been another, earlier use, connected to the building and maintenance of ships.
"Few Roman Imperial shipyards have been discovered and, if our identification is correct, this would be the largest of its kind in Italy or the
The huge building the team has discovered dates from the 2nd century AD and would have stood c. 145 metres long and 60 metres wide – an area
larger than a football pitch.
In places, its roof was up to 15 metres high, or more than three times the height of a double-decker bus.
Large brick-faced concrete piers or pillars, some three metres wide and still visible in part, supported at least eight parallel bays with wooden