Alexandria's founded by Alexander

Alexandria's founded by Alexander the Great (by year BC): 334 Alexandria in Troia (Turkey) - 333 Alexandria at Issus/Alexandrette (Iskenderun, Turkey) - 332 Alexandria of Caria/by the Latmos (Alinda, Turkey) - 331 Alexandria Mygdoniae - 331 Alexandria (Egypt) - 330 Alexandria in Areia (Herat, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria of the Prophthasia/in Dragiana/Phrada (Farah, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria in Arachosia (Kandahar, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria in Caucasus (Begram, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria of the Paropanisades (Ghazni, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria Eschate or Ultima (Khodjend, Tajikistan) - 329 Alexandria on the Oxus (Ai-Khanoum OR Termez, Afghanistan) - 328 Alexandria in Margiana (Merv, Turkmenistan) - 326 Alexandria Nicaea (on the Hydaspes, India) - 326 Alexandria Bucephala (on the Hydaspes, India) - 325 Alexandria Sogdia - 325 Alexandria Oreitide - 325 Alexandria in Opiene / Alexandria on the Indus (confluence of Indus & Acesines, India) - 325 Alexandria Rambacia (Bela, Pakistan) - 325 Alexandria Xylinepolis (Patala, India) - 325 Alexandria in Carminia (Gulashkird, Iran) - 324 Alexandria-on-the-Tigris/Antiochia-in-Susiana/Charax (Spasinou Charax on the Tigris, Iraq) - ?Alexandria of Carmahle? (Kahnu)

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

The restoration of Ostia Antica, the harbor of Rome

Would it not be a great experience to travel from the heart of Rome to the site of Ostia Antica by boat just as the ancient Romans once did? Well, the good news is that the project is taking shape with a departure from Ponte Marconi on the Tiber River where the works on the dock are in progress and expected to be finalized in the summer of next year (2019). Meanwhile, Ostia still can be reached by train.

The restoration carried out at Ostia Antica is not centered on specific buildings but comprises 187 structures on the left of the Decumanus, the main road running from the Porta Romana to the Porta Marina.

Among the buildings involved, there are the so-called Republican Area, the Collegiate Temple and the Seat of Augustals. Also along this road, restorations were carried out at the Caseggiato del Sole, a residential building, and at the Mitreo dei Serpenti whose frescoes have now been protected with a roof. More extensive work was done in the thirty-one rooms of the Terme dell’Indivioso, including the large mosaics of sea creatures.

One of the main problems in Ostia – also current in Pompeii, for instance – is the maintenance of the many monuments, warehouses, arcades, taverns and private houses. Archaeologists are hoping that private funds will be made available in order to clean up more of the constructions. Over the past four years, however, they were able to clear the heavily overgrowth of vegetation but also to treat and eliminate the surface deposits and organic residues on the stones.

I imagine that this face-lift is long overdue and the city should finally attract the many tourists it deserves. We will remember that Ostia was Rome’s access to the Mediterranean. Situated on the mouth of the Tiber, it was one of the most important ports in antiquity. In its heydays in the 2nd and 3rd century AD, the city counted 100,000 inhabitants but from the 3rd century onward most of the activity shifted to the larger and newly constructed harbor of Portus, leaving Ostia to the rich aristocrats who turned it into a seaside resort.

[More pictures can be seen on The Archaeology News Network, courtesy of La Repubblica]

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