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Program

Friday, April 1 • 14:20 - 14:55
S13-11 Liquid footprints: Water, urbanism, and sustainability in Roman Ostia

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Liquid Footprints: Water, Urbanism, and Sustainability in Roman Ostia

Mark A. Locicero

Abstract
The city of Ostia acted as a vital harbor city for ancient Rome, and was situated on the Mediterranean coast of Italy. Over its lifetime (ca. 4th century BCE-6th century CE), the city reacted to the diverse needs of its population for water. A substantial section of the urban fabric of this ancient port city has been excavated, and more is coming to light through recent non-invasive prospection techniques. While the large urban water structures have been known for some time, their (inter)connection with many smaller ones have been viewed mainly from an architectural viewpoint. This study investigates not only the hydraulic system of the city and how it changed over time, but more importantly, seeks to identify the forces that caused these complex systems to change over time. On a theoretical and analytical level, this means applying the insights gained from the recent advances in the study of sustainable resource usage to identify cultural, social, or economic factors that produced and influenced the city’s hydraulic landscape. 

However, to fully understand these factors, the system itself must be identified in its fragmented archaeological reality. Through the application of computational fluid-dynamic modeling software (SOBEK), this research aims to model the hydraulic system of a Roman city block (insula IV,ii), identifying how and why its water management changed over time. Additionally, this software, developed by the Dutch hydraulic management company Deltares, identifies where to look for undiscovered or lost components of this system. By combining the hydraulic system model with archaeological and historical information, we can gain a better picture into how a Roman harbor city managed its changing water needs over nearly a millennium of urban existence.


Friday April 1, 2016 14:20 - 14:55
Domus Academica, Gamle festsal

Attendees (4)