Harbours and working boats of the ancient mediterranean



Giulia Boetto (Marseille)

This event will be in English.

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Ancient writers and inscriptions, but also reliefs and frescoes introduce evidence for the large variety of boats performing special services in ports of ancient Mediterranean. Gradually, archaeology has also brought new and important contributions. Besides the large number of maritime vessels, from the smallest coaster to the largest cargo ship, the shipwrecks discovered in the port basins have provided us with material evidence that was lacking. Thus, the meticulous study of the ship-remains and comparisons with textual and iconographic evidence, allow us to reconstruct the form, structure, size and gear of different types of service boats. The lecture provides the more recent results on this subject proposing the portraits of lighters, tug-boats, dredgers, dinghies and fishing-boats operating in some ports of Italy (Ostia Portus and Naples) and Southern France (Marseilles and Toulon). 

Dr. Giulia Boetto is researcher in Nautical and Maritime Archaeology at the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and director of the Centre Camille Jullian (Aix Marseille University, CNRS) in Aix-en-Provence, France. Dr Boetto achieved her bachelor degree in Classical Letters in 1993 (Turin) and a Master in Classical Archaeology in 1998 (Turin). Parallel to her schooling, Dr. Boetto worked as free-lance (contractual) land and underwater archaeologist for the Italian Ministry of Culture. 

She completed her PhD in Letters and Human Sciences at the University of Provence in 2006, with a dissertation entitled “The Fiumicino ships (Italy): architecture, materials, types and functions. Contribution to the study of the harbour system of Rome under the Empire”. Since permanent appointment at the CNRS in 2007, her research has focussed on ancient ships (typology and function) through archaeological, written, iconographic, ethnological and archaeometric sources. Dr Boetto’s teaching activity is addressed to Master’s students of the Aix-Marseille University, in particular within the frame of the programme on the Maritime and Coastal Archaeology (MoMArch). She is the editor of a range of important volumes keyed to her research interests, in collaboration with Simon Keay, Batellerie Gallo-Romaine, Patrice Pomey and André Tchernia, and has published extensively across the general fields of maritime and nautical archaeology.