Thursday, August 30, 2012

Une épave romaine dans le port antique d’Antibes (english)

The Antique Antipolis…
Antibes is the Antique Antipolis, a Greek trading post founded by the Phocaeans of Massalia. The date of its establishment is still uncertain, but it followed an indigenous habitat located in the high areas of the current city. Along the Provençal shoreline, Antipolis occupied an advantageous location on the maritime routes linking Marseille to the Italian coast. Like the Saint-Roch cove, it had a natural port that was protected from the dominant winds. The prosperity of the Greek and then Roman city was largely based on the dynamic activity of its maritime commerce, as well as on the transformation of sea products, fish salting and the fabrication of garum (a fish based sauce). 

… and its port

The archaeologists are currently exploring, over 5000 m2, the bottom of an Antique port basin, which was progressively covered with sand. This obvious waste dump has yielded many objects – waste thrown from mooring boats or bits of cargo lost during transshipments – and provides information on the daily activities of the sailors and the maritime commerce. The layers of archaeological objects have been accumulating since the 3rd century BC until the 6th century AD. Several tens of thousands of objects of all kinds that were sunken underwater in the Saint-Roch cove have already been recovered, including merchandise originating from periphery of the Mediterranean basin. They alone illustrate the dynamic nature of the Antique port and commerce in this part of the Mediterranean.
The sediments excavated were located under the sea level and were not dried until the construction of the parking lot. These specific anaerobic conditions contributed to the preservation of organic materials and thus allowed the recovery of objects that are not preserved in excavations on land, including amphora corks, leather shoe soles and wood objects.