Harbour informations about: Basin

Three port basins have been traced, which offer protection against several winds. Two of them are made by the extension of the city wall and the third was formed by an artificial breakwater.


When the harbor basin was deepened in 1983, for the new yachts port, remains of two vessels cargos of were revealed, one from the 5th-4th century BCE and the second from the 1st century CE.


The additional construction of the breakwaters created a port with two anchorages, the inner (western) harbor and the outer harbor that comprised the northeastern basin. The new port of Akko resembled the plan of the Tyre port.


The southern breakwater was 250 m long and the eastern pier (on a southwest-northeast axis) was 325 m long. These breakwaters and the western pier divided the harbor in two anchorages: the inner harbor or Darsane and the outer harbor or Portus.


Südseite Lago Albano, località I Quadri: Von den zur sogenannten Villa des Clodius gehörigen Uferanlagen, welche noch G.Lugli gesehen und beschrieben hat, sind durch moderne Überbauung kaum Reste erhalten (s. Plan). Zu den noch sichtbaren Strukturen zählt eine Kaimauer wie auch die vorgelagerte Mole aus opus quadratum (Peperin-Blöcke). Beide bilden ein rechteckiges Hafenbecken mit einer absidialen Ausbuchtung sowie der Einfahrt auf der Längsseite.Vom Unterbau des "Leuchtturms" ist nur die äußere Blockreihe aus Peperin erhalten, der Rest ist mit Zement verbaut.


Ostseite Lago Albano, località Cantone: Zeitgleich zu den Resten in Località I quadri sind die Spuren anderer Uferbauten auf der Ostseite. Es handelt sich hier um ein kleines, aus Blöcken gemauertes rechteckiges Hafenbecken (opus quadratum). Das Baumaterial Peperin spricht für einen Bau in republikanischer Zeit. Es war aber sicherlich noch in domitianischer Zeit in Verwendung


A second entrance at the northwest may have led to an existing earlier port that, during the Hellenistic construction, was included in the overall plan. Arial photographs and electromagnetic readings at the base of the hill have revealed a silted circular harbour. This harbour most likely served the city of Amathous when it was founded until Classical times, which Pseudo-Skyllax refers to as deserted, and Aupert suggests was used in the summer season. This interior basin was probably natural, suggestive of the western Phoenecian harbours of the Classical Period, which indicate similarities with the geographical position of the kingdom and town of Amathous.


The projecting rocky island forms two separate bays: the North Bay and the South Bay. The northern and southern islands found within the North Bay provide a good shelter for water vessels, thus the bay was more suited for a harbor built. The South Bay is the second largest among the Mediterranean coast of Israel, is only partially protected by submerged reefs and not suitable to built harbor installations. The approach to this bay from the west was not difficult but quite dangerous, due to the strip of the reefs at its entrance and their orientation to the storm waves.


The Middle Basin (200 x 200 m) is located east of the Outer Basin. To the north and south it is enclosed by rocky promontory and to the east by the round tower and the wall of Straton’s Tower. On the northern side of the basin are found ashlars structures that during the Hellenistic period may have been used as shipyards or nauscenae. At the sea level are the remains of a "finger" quay that continues to he west. The quay made of narrow elongated ashlars (2 x 0.4 x 0.5 m) is a little more than 4.5 m wide and the surviving length is more than 10 m. On the southern side of the basin, the inner face of the Herodian quay survived to the sea level. Soundings at the base of this quay demonstrated that it is partly founded on natural rock and partly on an artificially poured conglomerate.


To the west, the inner basin was separated from other parts of the harbor by a wall running from the northern part of the natural bay up to 40 m, where it ended with a circular tower, 13 m in diameter. Remains of the tower were found during previous seasons of excavations.


Hellenistic (pre-Hellenistic, 2nd century BC): A partially rock-cut basin forms the inner basin. A quay built of stones east, appears as a wall.


Late Roman-Early Byzantine period (3rd-5th centuries AD): The excavations did not reveal any structures dating to these periods and connected with the activity of the inner harbor. It seems that large parts of the inner basin were sand-locked. Drillings and excavations carried out in the areas I/9 and I/14 revealed a thick layer of organic material. The top of the layer lies 0.6 m below the sea level, while its base laid on bedrock and a thin layer of sand (2.3 m below the sea level). Pottery shards found in this context date to the late 3rd - early 5th centuries AD. It seems that during the Late Roman period and probably till the mid 5th century, the inner harbor continued to decay by the accumulation of urban residue and waves carried sediments.


The main and the interior port

Today one can discern two basins: the first one occupied the central gulf of Eretria and was protected by the large jetty to the west and by Pezonisi to the east. It lied exactly at the site where the basin of the today’s port is situated. The monumental structures date to the middle of the 4th century BC, and probably are associated with the attempt of the Macedonians to fortify those Greek ports whose geographical position was of strategic importance.

It is worth pointing out that the port’s entrance measured 400 m. To the northeast, a second entrance led to the interior port that at present is silted up. It formed part of the town’s fortification during the late 4th century BC, thus constituting an extension of the eastern wall. In the classical period this silted up basin served as a port, and was also used as such in the early Hellenistic times until the last quarter of the 4th century BC, when it turned into a shallow marsh. The latter necessitated its drainage, as indicated by extant epigraphic evidence. The state of the port basin in classical times is somehow vague, as the only evidence that has survived into the present is the jetty that extends as a continuation of the town’s western walls.

Equally unknown remains today the port’s state in geometric times, that is, the era in which Eretria experienced prosperity on a large scale, particularly in the 8th century BC when it played a fundamental role in Euboean colonization. In addition, there is scanty knowledge today for the Eretrian port in the Archaic period, a time at which, as indicated by various inscriptions, Eretria had established its maritime supremacy, thus becoming the leading city of Euboea. Today we can only assume that during those time-periods the Eretrians made use of the interior port of the Classical period.


The inner basin of the harbour was probably extended inland on the low sandy shore, to the south of the cliff, on top of which there are the ruins of the city. According to the researcher, rough sea conditions in the bay often covered and uncovered parts of the remains.

One more reason in making this place convenient for a harbour was the potential water supply, since even today brackish water can be found in this area of the shore. Another factor re-enforcing the use of this area as a harbour is the presence of at least three steps (1m. wide by 0.5m. high) on the side of the cliff, possibly representing the remains of a path leading to the town on the top.


Raban also suggests the existance of a second harbour basin next to the east wall of the city, and to the north of the Troullin hill, where there now exists a marshy site (1971). To the north of this site the surveyors recovered encrusted sherds of Cyprio-Phoenecian amphoras.


According to archaeological indications, the harbour area consisted of two marshy ‘basins’ before any construction was undertaken (Pallas 1963, 75 - 76). Separated from the sea by a narrow stretch of sandy earth, the two basins were further protected in antiquity by the placement of large stone blocks on this narrow earth bank (Pallas 1965, 139-140, Pallas 1963, 75-76). These first constructions took place during the Archaic Period, along with a channel to the west that connected the basins to the sea. A flourishing new period under the Emperors saw the undertaking of large-scale constructions of which the remains are still visible today.

The material excavated to create the harbour was placed either side of the entrance to the port, forming two hills that today survive to a height of 16.5m to the west, and 17.5m to the east. At the peak of the eastern mound are reported to be the remains of a tower, probably dating from the medieval period. The two mounds were most likely raised so as to protect the harbour from the north winds, but also to reduce the visibility from the sea into the harbour.

The fully formed harbour seems to have consisted of two large basins, the eastern (A in plan) most at the point of entry from the channel, and the western basin (B in plan) that was connected to the sea by a second channel. The two basins were connected via a channel of the same proportions with the entrance channel (10 – 12m), which was constructed for the ease of manoeuvrability of vessels that were passing through, with the addition of mooring spaces its length that allowed a clear path in between for inter-basin movement. The eastern harbour was connected to two smaller basins (A1 and A2 in plan) whose function is still unclear. The western harbour seems to have extended even further towards the southwest, an area that is now cultivated (B1 in plan), and where the waters of the area flow into the harbours via a stream.

To the north of the western harbour, along the coastline, there are the remnants of a protective entrance harbour with a double scheme as is evident from the existence of three external moles (Georgiades, 1907, 4-5, Paris 1915, Fig. 1).


Das Hafenbecken ist ringsherum von gemauerten Kaimauern umschlossen. Vor der severischen Zeit bestand der Hafen sicherlich nur aus geringen Kaianlagen und Magazinen entlang der nord-westlichen Seite des Wadi. Bei dem Ausbau entstand ein polygonales Becken, ca 21 ha groß mit einer kleinen Einfahrt zwischen zwei gerade im Winkel aufeinander zulaufenden Molen. Der Hafen wurde unter Benutzung der vorgelagerten Riffe zu einem geschlossenen Becken ausgestaltet (ca.102.000 qm), dessen vieleckige, von gemauerten Kaimauern umschlossene Form ein wenig an den trajanischen Hafen von Portus (Ostia) erinnert. Eine breite Säulenstrasse, an die das neue Forum unmittelbar angrenzt, mündet in geradliniger Führung in den Westkai des Hafens. Die Verlängerung ihrer Achse über das Hafenbecken trifft genau auf den Leuchtturm, der die Hafeneinfahrt flankiert und von der Seeseite her den markantesten Punkt der Stadt bildete. Diese Beziehungen lassen sich nicht nur am Plan ablesen, war doch der Hafen in funktionell und ästhetisch überzeugender Weise in das Stadtgebiet integriert.


Die Befunde an der Brand-Löhrstraße,ca. 500 m stromab vom Kapellhof lassen seit dem 2.Jh. n.Chr. hier ein Hafenbecken vermuten. Hier fand sich  die  Bohlenverkleidung eines hölzernen Piers (Anlegers), der vermuten läßt, das Hafenbecken sei hier in den Rhein gebaut worden.

(keyword quay) Im Gegensatz zu den ansonsten üblichen Anlagen mit ausgebauten Uferanlagen (Kaianlagen) und vorgelagerten Molen, eine einzigartige Bauart.


Für die Bildung des Hafenbeckens wurden zwei Küstenseen, der Lukriner und der Averner See, ausgenutzt indem beide miteinander verbunden wurden. Der Averner See ist ein Kratersee, etwa 2 km von der Küste entfernt. Schon seit altersher von melancholischen und geheimnisvollen Legenden umwoben steht er angeblich mit dem Fluß der Unterwelt, dem Styx, in Verbindung. Durch den Damm der Via Herculanea wurde die Bucht künstlich zu einem Binnensee, dem Lacus Lucrinus. Agrippa ließ den Averner See mit dem vorgelagerten Lucriner See (der seinerseits Verbindung mit dem Golfvon Pozzuoli hat) durch einen breiten Kanal verbinden und verfügte damit über einen geschützten Hafen. Durch die plötzliche Hebung des Monte Nuovo 1538 wurde die Bucht größtenteils verschüttet.


Das innere der beiden Hafenbecken (heute Mare Morto genannt) diente als Werft, während das äußere durch die Punta Sarpanella zweigeteilt, die Reede war. Ein Kanal, über dem eine inschriftlich überlieferte hölzerne Brücke führte (pontus ligneus) ermöglichte die Durchfahrt. Rund um diesen inneren Hafen müssen die Werften und Arsenale gelegen haben, von denen heute leider nichts mehr überliefert ist.


Im Südwesten der Insel, innerhalb der Befestigungsanlagen liegt ein in phönikischer Tradition gemauertes Becken. Es handelt sich hier um ein schräg zur Küstenlinie liegendes, aus Blöcken gesetztes Rechteck von 51.00 x 35.50 m und ca.2.30m Tiefe u.N.N. Die Wände sind aus Blöcken gemauert, der Boden bildet das anstehende geglättete Gestein, teilweise durch Steine ausgebessert. Eine Steinkante an der Nordseite wird als Einstiegerleichterung bei Niedrigwasser interpretiert.


Nonostante le considerevoli sopravvivenze di strutture antiche, la ricostruzione del porto di Claudio, soprattutto nella zona meridionale, si basa su indizi desunti dalla lettura di fotografie aeree e dalla cartografia portuense di età rinascimentale.
Il bacino portuale è orientato a sud ovest con un grande molo a protezione dei venti di maestrale, ponente e libeccio, similmente a quanto avviene per la maggioranza dei porti della fascia medio tirrenica. L’imboccatura principale si trovava a ovest mentre l’ingresso meridionale va ricercato all’altezza della moderna via di Fiumicino. L’invaso ha dimensioni ragguardevoli perché l’area si aggira su misure di oltre m 1200x1300 per una superficie di almeno 150 ettari.


Il bacino del porto di Traiano ha una forma esagonale di 358 m di lato. La superficie totale misura all’incirca 33 ettari. La forma esagonale fu ritenuta dai progettisti la più sicura dal punto di vista strutturale e la più idonea allo svolgimento contemporaneo delle molteplici operazioni di attracco delle navi, carico scarico e trasporto delle merci.
L’assetto attuale dell’invaso è il risultato della bonifica completata negli anni 30, quando i lati dell’esagono vennero messi allo scoperto, restaurati e foderati con nuove murature prima dell’immissione dell’acqua pompata direttamente dal Tevere.
Il Lanciani, che nel 1868 assisté ai lavori di bonifica, scrive che il fondo del bacino si trovava a cinque metri di profondità media, era inclinato verso il mare ad era lastricato con grandi pietre.


La darsena è un bacino di forma rettangolare con ingresso a nord-est . Essa misura 227 x 48 metri ed è contornata sugli altri tre lati dai magazzini traianei.
Le sponde sono sagomate a scarpa per smorzare il moto ondoso. Si ignorano le caratteristiche del fondo e la profondità. e di collegamento con la Fossa Traiana potrebbe essere definita una "darsena di evoluzione" per il carico e lo smistamento verso Roma di imbarcazioni di medio e piccolo tonnellaggio, adatte a risalire il fiume (Verduchi 1999).


The harbour can be classified as the Hellenistic "closed harbour". Two breakwaters enclose the external basin, the western having an NE-SE orientation, and an eastern breakwater with an orientation of NE-SW.


Geomorphological surveys in 1996 revealed that the basin of the harbour was far larger than it seems today. It was believed that this was due to tectonic movements from the seismic activity of the 1st and 4th centuries AD. The survey, however, revealed that the tectonic movement in the basin was relatively small, and that the actual construction of the port hindered the free flow of a silt laden current from the east. This factor caused the silting of the harbour to occur and thus encouraged the corrective works that are visible today.

Finally, the shape of the triple harbour that Stadiasmos relates has been interpreted in different ways. For instance, it has been suggested that there was a tripple internal division with the main basin formed inside the breakwaters, and at the same time the use of the bays to the north and south. The geophisical surveys revealed that the bedrock of the basin is divided into two uneven parts upon which remains of construction can be identified, in effect creative two basins. The placement of a warf in the western part of the basin could in theory create a harbour with three sections. The plans of the surveyors reveal remains of building material at two points at right angles to the beach in the west harbour. A tripple sheme could also be envisioned using the natural separation in the eastern harbour from the stream that exited into this section of the harbour. Similarly, the tripple harbour may have consisted of the division of the eastern and western sections of the port, and also utilised the natural bay that exists to the south, which was also used in medieval times when the main harbour became too silted.


The basin of the main harbor was called Cantharus due to its shape, which resembled the corresponding vase. The Basin of Cantharus as it was recorded in the maps of the first researchers, had the shape of an irregular rectangle, smaller than the modern harbour, with dimensions approximately 1000x750m. Starting from the west and moving clockwise around the basin, the Athenian shipyards were located inside the walls and along Eetioneia coast. To the north a marshy region formed outside the walls, was used a cemetery, (as the great number of grave stelae and sarcophagi which were unearthed during its dredging for the construction of the modern entrance port) and was until recently mistakenly identified as the Kofos Limen (Steinhauer, G.A., 2000,p.79). The commercial port of Piraeus "Emporion" situated on the northeastern side of the basin, while one part of the military dockyard of the Athenians extended in the southern point of Cantharus, on Alkimos coast. The Kofos Limen was on the west coast of Eetioneian peninsula in today’s Krommydarous’ bay, while outside the port, beyond the north beacon that was found in Lipasmata area, was the Foron Limen or " Thieves’ Harbor" where there was no control of any kind by the port’s authority (Steinhauer, G.A., 2000,p.79).


The basin of the port of Zea had a circular shape in antiquity, as it has today, with a diameter of 450m and an entrance port on its south side 180m wide and 200m in length (Traulos 1972, p.442-456).

B. Jetties

As in the port of Cantharus, the entrance was formed by two jetties (moles), over which extended the walls that run along the coastline of the peninsula. At the end of each mole the walls were reinforced with a large rectangular tower from which a chain was hang across the entrance of the port.


Both the hill and the harbour of Munychia were enclosed by the city walls, which in the same way as Cantharus and Zea, extended over two jetties and were reinforced at their end, at the mouth of the harbour, with two large rectangular towers, leaving an opening of 37m. (Fig.13). The basin of Munychia had an elliptical shape in antiquity and dimensions, 360m in length and 220m wide. (Traulos, 1972,p.450).


Furthermore, Raban believes that the lagoon at the north of the city was functioning as the city’s "neorion", the place with facilities for ship construction and repair, storage, and shipment. At the same time he places as only candidate for the "secret" naval harbour, the second basin north of the lagoon.

Flemming, however, in the area of the lagoon that Raban considers as the «neorion», discovered during his investigation two streets, one going parallel to the modern shore and a second one meeting it. Along the length of the streets, and in general the southern half of the lagoon, he also discovered several architectural remains. This apparently means that the area was not submerged by the time of the constructions. His investigation was limited especially in the northern half of the lagoon. On the other hand, he concurs with the location and function of the north and south harbours and makes observations about the silting and the posibility that more features may be buried there.


The harbour possibly had a closed inner basin well protected from winter east winds, as it is evident from the geomorphology of the area. The circular shape of the basin can even today (1929) be recognized on the shore as "a low depression in the garden belonging to Imbranim" as Westholm lively describes.


Der Hafen geht sicherlich auf die Zeit der Volsker zurück. Zwei Molen schließen das Hafenbecken ein:  eine in ost-west Richtung verlaufend, die andere in nord-süd Richtung, zur ersteren im Winkel von 104 Grad gelegen (zangenartige  Anlage). Der halbrunde Abschluß auf dem Ende der letztgenannten Mole trug vermutlich den Leuchtturm.


The remains of the closed harbour are situated in the middle of the eastern part of the ancient city, under the modern port installations, in a rather good state of preservation. The ancient military harbour was enclosed within a marine wall, which is nothing but the continuation of the land fortification towards the sea. The part of the wall separating the harbour from the city area is now extinct; therefore it is hard to say whether there was direct communication between these areas, apart from two gates on the city wall outside the harbour area. During the Hellenistic period the wall is reinforced with circular towers and its western side is being expanded outside the wall through the construction of an artificial beach, made of marble and schist slabs in two rows, which hold together the filling of rubble. In this area is also placed the sanctuary of Soteira (Artemis?). The present state of the port was formed during the Early Christian Times and was preserved by the Genoans, while its overall dimensions have remained constant since the time of its construction. To the North –East lays the commercial port basin, which is protected against the northern winds by a fortified mole.

The basin of the military port is quadrilateral in shape and up to 3m deep today. It is defined by two moles and is protected by a marine wall, a continuation of the land fortification. To the north NE the basin of the commercial port is to be found, open to the south, which served the great commercial activity of the island. It is protected through a fortified mole against the northern winds and communicates with the agora of the city through two gates on the city wall.


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