Late Holocene filling of the Canale di Imbocco (Portus, central Italy): a multidisciplinary palaeoenvironmental perspective

Manuel ABAD, Francisco RUIZ, Marta ARROYO, Gabriel GÓMEZ, Adolfo F. MUÑOZ, Juan Manuel CAMPOS, Javier BERMEJO, Lucía FERNÁNDEZ, Alberto BERMEJO, María Luz GONZÁLEZ-REGALADO, Josep TOSQUELLA, Joaquín RODRÍGUEZ-VIDAL, Fernando MUÑIZ, Manuel POZO, Luis Miguel CÁCERES, Paula GÓMEZ, Antonio TOSCANO, Tatiana IZQUIERDO & Verónica ROMERO

en Comptes Rendus Palevol 22 (21) - Pages 467-478

Published on 26 June 2023

Portus was the main port of imperial Rome from the 2nd century AD to the 5th century AD, with an inner, hexagonal port (Trajan basin) and an outer port (Claudius basin) linked by a channel bounded by quays. Six sedimentary facies have been differentiated in the geological analysis of a core extracted in this channel, basically composed of poorly classified bioclastic muds typical of restricted environments, accumulations of Posidonia oceanica (Linnaeus) Delile, 1813 and a final anthropic fill. The subfossil record of bivalves, foraminifera and ostracods is characteristic of Mediterranean brackish environments (lagoons, estuaries, deltas) with significant environmental stress, due to changes in the physical-chemical parameters and probably the periodic dredging of this seaway during a period of about 300 years. The presence of “Neptune balls” points to the development of probable stormy periods that deposit these unique structures in the internal areas of this historic port.


Sedimentology, fossil record, channel fill, paleoenvironments, Portus, imperial Rome, Central Italy

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