Two millennia ago, the Roman Empire stretched all the way to northern England, which the Romans considered the very edge of civilization—and perhaps the world. Arbeia, the Roman fort overlooking the river and harbour from Lawe Top, became part of one of the largest and busiest supply depots in the northern Roman Empire, as it was less than four miles from Hadrian’s Wall, which the Empire built to mark its northern boundary and protect its settlements from the region’s native inhabitants such as the Brigantes and Picts.
Populonia’s archaeological sites face threats from looters. On this applied learning program, you'll help researchers protect invaluable remnants from an ancient world. Situated in a strategic part of the bay, next to a navigable inland lake and to the great Campiglia mines, Populonia was for centuries (from 900 BCE to 100 CE) one of the most significant centers of iron smelting and trade in the Mediterranean. The transfer of the city to Roman rule (250/200 BCE) did not halt its metalworking activities: iron exports supported the Roman expansion in Africa, and the Augustan ruling class (50 BCE - 50 CE) had important economic interests in the area’s industrial production and commerce.