School of Classics
Environmental approaches are transforming conceptions of Rome’s origins. I direct a geoarchaeological coring survey of Rome’s river valley, investigating stratigraphic levels more than 15m below the modern surface. This unprecedented dataset and extensive cross-disciplinary collaboration has produced a new reconstruction of Rome’s pre-urban landscape. Additionally, coring has revealed that the river valley transformed dramatically alongside urban growth at the site in the mid-1st millennium BCE. Escalating floods and sedimentation compelled the ancient Romans to adapt their floodplain occupation both rapidly and progressively over many centuries. As one of the world’s longest records of urban flooding, Rome provides invaluable perspectives for modern ecological challenges.
Photographer: Andrea Brock