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Three recent articles (2010-2011) form a breakthrough in the knowledge of the Holocene history of the coastal area of Rome .
Data were mainly collected from drillings, which were then interpreted from the sedimentological and paleobotanical viewpoint.
By then, the dune belt was wide enough to allow the expansion of the city of Ostia.
In Ostia the course of a very old road can still be traced.
Therefore Ostia is today still lying next to the Tiber, but at a distance of some three kilometers from the beach.
Ostia is Latin for "mouth", the mouth of the Tiber.
The river was used as harbour, but in the Imperial period two harbour basins were added to the north, near Leonardo da Vinci airport.
The page covers early Ostia, Ostia's hey-day, late antiquity, the Middle Ages, and the history of the excavations.New historical environmental data confirm that the original foundation of Ostia could have been on an ephemeral dune belt: - Around 2600 years ago the Ostia marsh is affected by a sudden environmental change through the input of sea water, which transforms the basin from lacustrine to brackish.