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Le attività nel porto romano di Ancona tra V e VIII secolo d.C.

Monica Salvini    Soprintendenza Archeologia Toscana, Firenze, Italia    

Luigi Palermo    Cooperativa Archeologia, Firenze, Italia    



The excavation site of the Lungomare Vanvitelli urban area in Ancona ran from 1999 to 2002, revealing a series of structures, namely, warehouses, cisterns, representative areas and porticos, connected to the use of the docks. In the buildings that ‘surfaced’ from the excavations, scene 79 of Trajan’s Column can be seen supporting the hypothesis of the port of Ancona being a place from which the Imperial Army departed in the Second Dacian War. It was, in fact, the presence of the one natural harbour in the central Adriatic area of Italy that ensured continuous use of the promontory where Ancona is found. The port has always had great military importance: in 87 BC Cinna gathered warships there to use in the war against Silla; Trajan enhanced the port by making it larger for employment in the Dacian wars; and, there much fighting centred on conquering and maintaining control of the port during the Greek-Gothic war. After Trajan’s extensive renovations, long-term use was made of the port buildings with very few modifications. Documents attest to visible alterations made to the buildings between the middle of the 6th Century and the first decades of the 7th Century, where they were recovered and restored. Further, new constructions were also built which, in part, modified how spaces were distributed. Various documents and artefacts attest to these works and testify to the city and port’s full engagement in the trade towards other Mediterranean areas, especially towards the East. In the 7th Century, further alterations and adaptations were made to the still functioning port buildings. The beginnings of the abandonment of the port and subsequent collapse of the Roman and Byzantine structures can be dated to the 8th Century, considering the very few residual artefacts found in successive layers. These were also favoured by natural events such as earthquakes and pillage such as occurred during the Saracen invasion. 

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