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The Harbour


The final version of the harbour of Pompeiopolis was built in the Hadrian period. This version can be seen on a Roman imperial coin of Antoninus Pius that was printed in the 209th anniversary of the re-founding of the city (66/65 BC). There is a divine figure on this coin which most probably represents a local deity related to river, Portunus or Oceanus, or all three of them. A closer inspection of the coin reveals the two storey harbour. A lighthouse is visible at the end of the western mole and a deity statue which holds a torch is situated on the eastern mole. On the roof of the harbour jar¬like objects are perched at regular intervals and a torch is seen between the first two. These torches are thought to be used to illuminate the harbour.

Roman Imperial Coin of Antoninus Pius 143/144
(Nau Arch. 2010, 395)

Pompeiopolis Harbour, 2nd century AD (C. Brandon) NAUTICAL ARCHAEOLOGY, 39.2, 392.2

The moles are 320 m long and 180 m wide. The construction work of the Pompeiopolis harbour lasted from the end of the Is' century to the middle decades of the 2nd century. The presence of the volcanic ash (pozzolona), a construction material found nearthesiteof Puteoli in the Bay of Naples widely used in the Mediterranean harbours in the Roman period is determined by ROMACONS (Roman Maritime Concrete Study). This material is composed of sands rich in aluminosilicates which reacted with lime in the presence of water to produce a series of hydrated calcium aluminates and silicates that caused the mortar to set into a solid mass with the aggregate even in the absence of atmospheric carbon dioxide, a situation characteristic of underwater structures.

Soli Pompeiopolis is one of the biggest harbours in the Eastern Mediterranean where harbours played an essential role for trading crops and olive oil, for providing military security as well as for the acquisition of timber and mineral reserves.