Led by the University of Southampton, who worked with colleagues from the Italian Archaeological Superintendency for Ostia, Cambridge University and the British School at Rome, the three-year dig has revealed many other findings, confirming that Portus was of the largest maritime infrastructures of the ancient world.
"The project is the first ever large-scale dig at this unique site and mixes excavation, 3-D geophysics, computer visualization, environmental analysis and digital recording. This allows us to experience, analyze and interpret Portus in a wholly new way," Graeme Earl, one of the team leaders, told Discovery News.
With the help of ground penetrating radar, the archaeologists have uncovered luxuriously decorated rooms, a colonnaded garden, a finely carved marble head, possibly depicting the Greek hero Ulysses, and a well-preserved toilet, designed to be used by three people at a time.
"The toilet belonged to the palace. It is located between the amphitheater and a porticoed garden. It is really an impressive building, with marbled floor and walls," Keay told Discovery News.