Adulis Project Investigations, Excavations and Conservation of Adulis site (Eritrea)

Country: Eritrea

Starting Date: 2011 - Conclusion Date: 2015

Project: Ce.R.D.O Centro di Ricerca sul Deserto Orientale

Partner: Ce.R.D.OCentro di Ricerca sul Deserto Orientale, Museo Civico di Rovereto, National Museum of Eritrea, Agenzia Spaziale Italiana, Archeologia Viva, Gruppo Piccini

Project Supervisor: Bigliardi Giulio

Subject: Archaeological excavation

Project Summary
The city of Adulis was well known in the past as an important port of trade in the Red Sea, as documented by classical sources: Periplus of the Erythrean Sea (1st c. A.D.) and the Christian Topography (6th c. A.D.)

The five years project aims to study the history, the architectural phases and the spatial organisation of the town of Adulis. In order to reach this goal, the area of the most significant masonry structures of the site will be excavated and will be carried out an accurate documentation of the archaeological evidences. This documentation will include photogrammetric analysis and laser-scanning survey of structures. In order to understand the spatial development of the site will be conducted geophysical survey as well as geological analysis for the collection of environmental data. The project will also include a program of conservation of the excavated masonry structures. The results of the archaeological research will be disseminated through web, television broadcasting, documentaries, magazines and scientific publications. The archaeological site will be enhanced and opened also for tourism.

Results of 2011 field-work

During the 2011 field-work were been carried out the following activities:

1) Topographic survey and elaboration of a map of the archaeological site with Leica Total Laser Station; the setting of a reference grid for the site; GPS topographic survey; location and mapping of some of the areas corresponding to the trenches excavated in the past by the scholars which were previously investigating the site.

2) Excavation of a significant masonry structure, in order to document and study a public building, its architectural phases, technique and history.

3) Excavation of two test trenches (SW and SE sectors of the town) aimed to collecting evidences about the stratigraphic sequence of the site, with collection of finds and documentation of all archaeological features.

4) Preliminary documentation and analysis of finds in the camp-lab; study of the finds in dedicated labs after the end of the fieldwork, as post-excavation activity.