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Historical ports

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The port of Messina in Sicily (from book published circa 1572).

Historical ports may be found where ancient civilizations have developed maritime trade.

One of the world's oldest known artificial harbors is at Wadi al-Jarf on the Red Sea.[1] Along with the finding of harbor structures, ancient anchors have also been found.

Ancient ChinaEdit

Guangzhou[2] was an important port during the ancient times as far back as the Qin Dynasty.

Ancient EgyptEdit

Canopus was the principal port in Egypt for Greek trade before the foundation of Alexandria.

Ancient GreeceEdit

Athens' port of Piraeus was the base for the Athenian fleet and this played a crucial role in the Battle of Salamis[3] against the Achaemenid Empire in 480 BC.

Ancient IndiaEdit

Lothal is one of the most prominent cities of the ancient Indus valley civilisation, located in the Bhāl region of the modern state of Gujarāt and dating from 3700 BCE.

Muziris is one of the most prominent cities of the ancient times, located in the present-day Kodungallur was an ancient harbour - possible seaport and urban centre - on the Malabar Coast (modern-day Indian state of Kerala) that dates from at least the 1st century BC, if not earlier. Muziris, or Muchiri, found mention in the bardic Tamil poems and a number of classical sources.

Ancient RomeEdit

Ostia Antica was the port of ancient Rome with Portus established by Claudius and enlarged by Trajan to supplement the nearby port of Ostia.

Messina, sited on the Strait of Messina, also has a history as an ancient port.


During the Edo period, the island of Dejima was the only port open for trade with Europe and only received one Dutch ship per year, whereas Osaka was the largest domestic port and the main trade hub for rice.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Rossella Lorenzi (12 April 2013). "Most Ancient Port, Hieroglyphic Papyri Found". Discovery News. Retrieved 21 April 2013.
  2. ^ Guangzhou [1]
  3. ^ The Battle of Salamis [2]