A Syrian-Russian Archaeological Expedition has Examined the Remains of Fortifications and Port Structures from the Roman Period in the Water Area of Tartus


An international Syrian-Russian archaeological expedition surveyed the remains of fortifications and port structures from the Roman period in the waters of the Tartus province of the Syrian Arab Republic. The unique port infrastructure of the supposedly Roman period was surveyed north of Tartus opposite the town of Kharab Markia during the second field season of the Syrian-Russian archaeological mission, in which scientists from Sevastopol State University took part. The Director of the Institute of Social Sciences and International Relations, Dmitry Tatarkov, spoke about it.

“These are not just port facilities, but real maritime fortresses, possibly with the function of a lighthouse, from the first centuries of our era. Four marble columns have been found. The accompanying ceramic material will allow for more detailed dating of the object. This is undoubtedly the most interesting find”, said Mr Tatarkov.

Scientists examined the seabed visually and also by using guided underwater vehicles. In addition to port facilities, three anchorages of the ancient period were examined, as well as the remains of ancient hydraulic structures: breakwaters and quay walls. The recovered ceramic material is now undergoing cameral processing at the Tartus Antiquities Department.

“These are the remains of sarcophagi, antique and medieval ceramic vessels, amphorae and stone household items. This material will help to reconstruct the sea trade routes linking the area with the greater Mediterranean. We will be able to determine the life cycle of the ports that existed then”, said Mr Tatarkov.