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  • Porto Fluviale
  • Aquileia
  • Aquileia
  • Italy
  • Friuli Venezia Giulia
  • Provincia di Udine
  • Aquileia

Credits

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  • AIAC_logo logo

Monuments

Periods

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Chronology

  • 300 AD - 600 AD

Season

    • The port of Aquilea dates to the mid 1st century A.D., although the paving near the walls of the central warehouse area are earlier. After the 1st century A.D. the port was restructured several times. At that time the waters from the rivers Natisone and Torre joined the river Natissa, and the harbour, the warehouses and the connecting roads to the city constituted the port’s structures. The harbour comprised two quays, circa 300m long, constructed with vertical slabs of Istrian stone. There was an upper and a lower quay in order to overcome the problems caused by tides and inundations. The upper quay had projecting horizontal mooring rings placed at irregular distances; the lower quay had vertical rings embedded in the base of the blocks on its sides. The quays were linked to the city centre by three sloping paved roads. The warehouses were reached using paved ramps positioned at right angles to the sides of the roads. The three warehouses had narrow rectangular plans that were affected by the existence of the Republican walls which they abutted. The brick walls were strengthened by pilasters linked by wide arches; access was facilitated by the wide, probably monumental, entrances. On the opposite bank was the city inhabited by the sailors, traders, hired labourers, carpenters and customs officials whose lives were linked to the port. This bank also had its own quay but its remains were re-buried following the archaeological investigation. In 238 B.C., following the clash between Maximinius Thrax, elected emperor by his troops, and his political adversaries supported by the Senate, a new city wall was built along the river, filling the space between the quayside and the warehouses. New entrances were built on the river, reached by stairways inside rectangular towers. The port was used in this layout until 361 A.D., the year when Aquilea was besieged by Julian the Apostate. The defences around the access points to the warehouses were strengthened; the rectangular towers were incorporated into other larger towers with an irregular semicircular plan, the construction material coming from demolished funerary monuments. In the 2nd and 4th centuries the warehouses were still in use, but, following Attila’s invasion of 452 A.D. and the construction of a new wall with saw-toothed crenellation, the port area was left outside the city walls in a state of abandonment. (MiBAC)

Bibliography

    • M. B. Carre, C. Zaccaria, 2004, Aquileia (UD). Magazzini a nord del Porto Fluviale. Campagne 2003 – 2004, in Aquileia Nostra, Notiziario della Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici del Friuli Venezia Giulia, Aquileia, anno LXXV: 589-604.