View Post

Ostia in Late Antiquity

A serious crisis seems to have descended upon Ostia in the mid-third century C.E. Under the reign of the Severan emperors (195-235) the urban expansion of the city had begun to slow down, but it did not stop altogether. In regard to housing, some mid-luxury architectural forms such as the colonnaded courtyard houses found on the ground floors of insulae …

View Post

Sacred Space on the Shore: Ostia’s Synagogue

Synagogue: Discovery and Excavations The synagogue at Ostia is a long trek from the site entrance, and the visitors who make the journey to this extraordinary building enjoy a strange sort of solitude. On even the busiest tourist days of summer, you will probably find yourself alone and free to explore the synagogue away from the other groups of tourists. …

View Post

How the coastline of Ostia changed over the centuries

The double arch of the coastline of the Campagna Romana is made up of littoral barriers connecting the rocky protrusions of Ladispoli and Anzio. In the centre, the regularity of alignment is interrupted by the river cusps of the Tiber and the Fiumicino channel (Figure 1). Nowadays the sea is distant a few kilometres from the ancient city of Ostia. …

View Post

The Kinds of Tuff used in Ostian construction

Geoarchaeological Aspects Tuff (also known as volcanic tufa)[1] was among the first building materials employed at Ostia. The earliest examples of this rock were not of the highest quality, and were probably chosen for their ease of quarrying and transport. Over time, builders utilized tuff of increasingly better quality, and eventually even color may have become a factor in choosing …