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  Partnership opportunities. Surveying the Roman Mediterranean Ports. Research and Survey in the singular Portus Iulius (Naples, Italy)


The Underwater Pompeii site is located in the bay of Naples and is managed by Baia Underwater Park. Underwater surveys show that Roman buildings are about 400 meters away from the present coastline, at a depth of approximately 9 meters. Underwater and aerial surveys have shown numerous submerged archaeological remains. Evidence of the submersion of the coast can be found in the ruins of the Temple of Venus, which today is about 3 meters below the quay of the port. Nearby, on the other side of the bay, two monumental complexes were also found: a villa belonging to the Pisoni family and a bath complex with a nymphaeum.

Another submerged archaeological site that archaeologists and researchers will study is Portus Iulius, a port which sank during Roman times. It was built in 37 B.C. by Agrippa and Octavian, and was abandoned in 12 B.C., merely 25 years after its extremely expensive construction. Later on, it was submerged due to several ground movements –Bradyseism- and volcanic activities including Vesuvius.

The coast's unique atmosphere even attracted emperors. For instance, Caligula celebrated his elevation to divinity by building a pontoon crossing the area, which he then rode over wearing the armor of Alexander. Emperor Claudius often visited Baia. Nero was so fond of this place that he ended up conceiving grandiose projects there, one of them being conveying all spa waters into a large basin intended to link Miseno with the Averno.

In 2006 the Baia Underwater Archaeological Park was created, the first of its kind in Italy. Because of this project we can visit these magnificent ancient ruins. The uniqueness of the archaeology in Naples Bay, both on land and underwater, has made this site famous worldwide.

Specific description

Preparation of underwater urban surveying of the port of Portus Iulius and study the archaeological material that is identified on the surface of the site.


Potential partners

Preferably archaeologists or university professors with endorsement of their department.

Potential partners requirements

Will prioritize the intention and purpose to undertake a new project rather than the accomplishments and experience in developing excavations. Ideal for young teachers who want to start new projects focused on underwater archaeology applied to the Roman world and the use of surveying methodology using advanced techniques in digitalization (total Station, GIS, 3D model,…).

Methodological planning

a) In Naples (Italy), during the underwater surveying campaign, they will be spent 7 hours per day for fieldwork, developing the surveying design of Portus Iulius, the spatial location and the cataloging of the archaeological objects discovered in the submerged site.

b) In the place of origin of potential partners -preferably universities-, during the teaching period and as part of the credits and university subjects: preparation of a GIS system and treatment of the inventory of archaeological objects.

c) Publication of the obtained results in international publications and congresses.

Project schedule

• Stage 1, open to contacts and communication with interested partners (January – September, 2015).

• Stage 2, procedures and agreements (October – December, 2015).

• Stage 3, development and implementation of the excavation (from March 2016 forward).

Project costs

Defrayed by partners after the agreements between partnership and The Sanisera Field School.

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  1. Excavation of an urban area of ​​the Roman city of Sanisera
  2. Excavation of necropolis 5, in the Roman City of Sanisera
  3. Excavation of a Roman shipwreck.
  4. Surveying the Roman Mediterranean Ports. Research and Survey in the singular Portus Iulius (Naples, Italy)


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