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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 …

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The hidden harbour of Claudius

The two breakwaters Pope Pio II in his Commentarii (1614[1]) wrote:“Emperor Claudius built a harbour protected right and left by jetties, with a mole at the entrance where the sea is deep.” The harbour basin of Claudius is located about 3.5 km north of Ostia, near the Roman town of Portus (Figure 1). Construction commenced in A.D. 42 and was …