23 April 2014

At… … we learn the Roman port of Ostia, on the Tiber and the port of call for all trade to Rome was much bigger than imagined.

At… … a claim derived from the excavation of Lapis Niger, an ancient shrine in the Roman Forum. A wall is now dated 200 years prior to 753BC, the traditional date for the foundation of Rome – which might be worth exploring a bit. How was it dated? It seems the date was primarily produced from ceramic chronology – and the remains of food found in that pottery. The ceramics have been dated to the 9th century BC (or the beginning of the 8th at latest). Hence, the new dates may eventually be contradicted by C14 technology change – and by a general down dating of Iron Age strata in the Levant (on which the Roman ceramic chronology eventually hinges). If Iron II is downdated by between 100 and 200 years in the Levant (and there is currently a lot of resistance to this) that will mean the so called earlier date of Rome may have to move in sync.

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