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Roman city gate and landing place in the area north to the Museum – Quarto d’Altino

Via San Eliodoro 37 (National Archaeological Museum) – 30020 Quarto d’Altino (VE)
Summary


The archaeological area on the north of the Museum of Altino conserves the remains of a city gate of Roman times (I century B.C. – I century A.D.), which was located on a channel.

History of research

The first excavations were carried out in 1972 so as to understand the possible connection with the archaeological area on the east of the Museum. The researches resumed in 1980 and continued until the beginning of the Nineties.

Urban and geographical context

Altino is a hamlet of “Quarto di Altino” and is located in the plain, in the same place as the homonym Roman city that was once on the Veneto lagoon. The territory is crossed by the final part of the river Sile, which splits at the hamlet of Portegrandi and whose main branch continues towards Jesolo along the channel that was excavated by the Venetians at the times of the Serenissima Republic (the so-called “Taglio”). The archaeological area is located in the territory of the village “Quarto d’Altino” and it was close to the north-central border of the Roman settlement.

Chronology

I B.C. – IV A.D.

Description

The archaeological area on the north of the Museum of Altino displays the remains of a Roman river pier (I century B.C. – I century A.D) constituted by a city gate flanked by short walls, by a landing place and by the connected warehouse. These structures were located within a block of 100 x 65 metres marked on the east by the “kardo” leading to the city gate; on the south by the “decumanus”, on the west and on the east by a channel.
The city gate (A) had two towers and inner court, as per a very common typology in northern Italy between the end of the I century B.C. and the beginning of the I century A.D. (see also the city gate “Porta Leoni” in Verona). The foundations of the door were made of big blocks of sandstone and leaned on a massive net of wooden poles for the consolidation of the ground. The inner court was square-shaped and measured 9 metres per side. The two towers were located on the northern side of the gate. Their upper shape was polygonal but their basis was a square of 7,40 metres per side with a circular inside. The building was located on a channel and was directly touched by the water. For this reason it is thought that the building was used as the city monumental landing place/gate.
Short after the construction of the city gate, between the two towers a bridge was built, which was made of big blocks of sandstone kept together by iron cramps. This bridge connected the urban area of Altino to a junction road that skirted the Sioncello up to the “via Annia”.
At the end of the I century B.C. it is also possible to date the compound in the south-western part of the archaeological area (B), a building partially equipped with a porch and with a mooring quay. The building was covered after the excavation and it is thus not visible today. Just as the city gate, it was located along the channel and for this reason it has been interpreted as a warehouse in connection with the river pier. Between the III and the IV century A.D. the warehouse was substituted by a kiln for cooking limestone and, on the east of the gate, some production rooms were built. Between the III and IV century A.D. the city walls were also reconstructed by using waste materials.


Visiting

Admission: Negli orari di apertura

Visitability: Interno

Ticket: Si

Price: Full price ticket: 3 euro; reduced price ticket: 1,5 euro. The ticket is valid for visiting the sites and the National Archaeological Museum of Altino.

School access
Preferably upon reservation

Opening Times

Opening Days
Tipology When Specs
Mon-Sun 8.30-19.30

Closed on Christmas, New Years’ Eve, I May. The ticket office closes at 7pm.

Recommended tour time (minutes): 40

Services for visitors

Toilet
Toilets of the Museum

Parking
Parking of the Museum

Educational Services

Guide a stampa
Audio guide

Information boards

Multilingual ads: Inglese
Tedesco
Pannellistica

Guided Tours
Guided tours by the agency "Synthesis", tel. 041 5311460 / 5310368, e-mail: synthesis@tin.it

Educational activities
Teaching activities by the agency "Synthesis", tel. 041 5311460 / 5310368, e-mail: synthesis@tin.it and by the association "Studio D", tel. 049 8360553, e-mail: info@studiodarcheologia.it

Educational workshops
Association "Studio D", tel. 049 8360553, e-mail: info@studiodarcheologia.it

Library and documentation centre


Bibliography

Tombolani M. 1985, Altino (Venezia) – Scavo nell’area a nord del Museo, in Aquileia Nostra, LVI, pp. 468-469.
Tombolani M. 1987, Altino, in Il Veneto nell’età romana, II, a cura di Cavalieri Manasse G., Verona, pp. 324-330.
Tirelli M. 1993, Il Museo Archeologico Nazionale e le aree archeologiche di Altino, Padova, pp. 36-44.
Tirelli M. 2003, Altino, in Luoghi e tradizioni d’Italia. Veneto, I, Roma, pp. 32-45.
Tirelli M. 2004, La porta-approdo di Altinum e i rituali pubblici di fondazione: tradizione veneta e romana a confronto, in Studi di archeologia in onore di Gustavo Traversari, II, a cura di Fano Santi M., Roma, pp. 849-863.
I luoghi della cultura 2006, Roma, pp. 376.
Bonetto J. 2009, Veneto (Archeologia delle Regioni d’Italia), Roma, pp. 499-500.


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