Ostium in Latin means mouth and indeed the town of Ostia was Rome’s main port until the foundation of Portus, which left Ostia a purely residential area. Ostia remains incredibly preserved due to its abandonment on the 9th Cent. This preservation allows the “beating heart of Rome” (S.Keay), to be fully explored and analysed and compared to the urban megalopolis of Rome.
My favourite building in Ostia is the Square of the Corporations (located just behind the theatre). This complex building consists of a huge mosaiced porticus with individual ‘stalls’ decorated in Severan mosaic decoration, documenting the corporations of merchants and ship owners who had their offices here. Below is a picture of some of my favourite mosaic designs.