CFD analysis for the validation of archaeological hypotheses – The indoor microclimate of ancient storage-rooms

Publication date: September 2016
Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 73
Author(s): F. Pagliaro, F. Nardecchia, F. Gugliermetti, F. Bisegna
The indoor microclimate of ancient storage buildings has been widely investigated since they could reach optimal conditions for goods preservation only through passive systems. However it is difficult to fully understand the real behaviour of these systems since they are often not existing anymore nowadays: this is the case of the warehouses of Portus, an archaeological site originally composed of about 300 storage-rooms. A significant amount of important information, like the one related to shape and structure, are not available for the archaeologists who investigate the site. A detailed analysis of these buildings has been carried out in order to assess the optimal indoor microclimate for wheat storage. Different hypotheses focusing on the presence of openings have been developed, even if the archaeologists suppose that the rooms were completely closed. The combination of numerical tools and historical research allowed to formulate, test and validate a hypothesis regarding the architecture and the operation of these ancient buildings. In the present paper, conjugated heat transfer in different configurations of the warehouses of Portus has been numerically studied, taking into account the models subjected to different transient temperatures as a consequence of the summer outdoor microclimate. This work aims to propose and validate archaeological and structural hypotheses regarding the functioning of storage-rooms in Ancient Rome, through an improved and optimized definition of the reconstruction of one of the warehouses of Portus.