Marseille Roman Docks Museum | Attraction Guides | History Hit

Marseille Roman Docks Museum

Marseille, Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur, France

Luke Tomes

24 Nov 2020

About Marseille Roman Docks Museum

The Roman Docks Museum (Musée des Docks Romains) in Marseille is an archaeological museum located on the site of a former Ancient Roman dock warehouse.

Marseille Roman Docks Museum history

In 1947, the Roman commercial warehouses were discovered during the reconstruction of the old quarters destroyed by the German occupiers. Through the intervention of Fernand Benoit, historian and renowned archaeologist, a part of these relics could be kept on-site.

Opened in 1963 and renovated in 1987, the Museum presents 30 dolia or large jars of Roman times. Inside of the Park of the dolia, you can find walls and wells of the medieval houses.

Marseille Roman Docks Museum today

One of the main exhibits is the set of ceramic jugs or “dolia” which were probably made in the Roman warehouse. Visitors can also see the remains of some other buildings and homes from this period.

Amongst its collection, the Roman Docks Museum shows the ruins of this warehouse and archaeological finds from within the site as well as from underwater excavations. All of these exhibits together portray the Marseille’s ancient port as a thriving centre of commerce.

The exhibits at the Roman Docks Museum are not only Roman, but also Greek in origin, reflecting the fact that Marseille was first a Greek settlement before being taken by the Romans in the first century BC. These exhibits provide a revealing insight into the different kinds of merchandise that passed through the city.

For instance, you can see an amphora – the ancient Greek two-handled jar – as well as details of how it was made. Moreover, pieces of wreckage, once buried in the depths beyond the harbor, have now been raised for display.

Getting to Marseille Roman Docks Museum

The address of the museum is 28 Place Vivaux, 13002 Marseille, France. It is located  on the ruins of an ancient Roman warehouse located between the Marseille City Hall and the Marseille Cathedral. If travelling via public transport, you can take the metro and exit at Métro Vieux Port. From here, the Roman Docks Museum is only a 10 minute walk away along the harbour.

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