Navigation on Elba in the time of the Etruscans


Elba of the Etruscans Sunday 21 August in Marciana Marina at 9.30 pm at the port of Borgo del Cotone, where Edina Regoli, Director of the Museums of Rosignano Marittimo and Carolina Megale, Director of the Museum of Populonia, Gasparri Collection, will speak on the theme: “Every ship needs a port. Etruscan and Roman landings in the Upper Tyrrhenian Sea.”

Northern Etruria constitutes an exceptionally stable social and economic area over time: raw materials, handicraft productions and agricultural products are conveyed through internal vectors (river and road) to reach the coast where the network of seaports allows it to spread throughout the Mediterranean.

The geomorphological characteristics of the coast of northern Etruria have allowed the development of a type of port that exploits the physical characteristics of the territory in a flexible way. The lagoon-type geomorphological situation common to the northern Etruscan coastal sites determines actual port systems rather than punctual sites. There are in fact solutions linked to the exploitation of internal lagoon areas together with open bays (Populonia with Falesia e Baratti, and Portus Scabris in the Gulf of Follonica), chains of landing places located along the coast and the mouth of the river (Pisa with the island of Migliarino and S. Piero a Grado on the mouth of the ‘Arno and Portus Pisanus on the coast), stopovers in the internal lagoon and directly on the sea (Vada Volaterrana).

The articulation and versatility of the port network built in the upper Tyrrhenian Sea has allowed the growth and maintenance of a very dense network of interchanges which has remained stable throughout antiquity, despite the profound changes in the political and social framework, guaranteeing the region an uninterrupted productive and economic centrality.