Tiber Valley Project

The British School at Rome’s Tiber Valley Project studies the changing landscapes of the middle Tiber Valley as the hinterland of Rome through two millennia. It draws on the vast amount of archaeological work carried out in this area to examine the impact of the growth and transformation of the city on the history of settlement and society in the river valley from ca. 1000 BC to AD 1000. The wealth of surface survey evidence in particular provides a valuable resource for examining these themes. However, no study has attempted to incorporate the wide range of settlement and economic evidence available and the full potential of the data for understanding these processes has been undeveloped. British fieldwork in this area goes back to the beginning of the 19th century with Thomas Ashby’s pioneering study of the Roman campagna; however it was the South Etruria survey, directed by John Ward Perkins’ in the 1950s to 70s, which represented a milestone in Italian and Mediterranean landscape archaeology and stimulated a series of field surveys and excavations by British and, in particular, Italian archaeologists in this area.

The Tiber Valley project involves twelve British universities and institutions as well as many Italian scholars. Tim Potter’s classic synthesis of the South Etruria survey, ‘The Changing landscape of South Etruria’ published in 1979, represented the first and only attempt to analyze developments in one part of this area through time; the first phase of the Tiber Valley project and the restudy of the South Etruria data has led to a fundamental reassessment of our historical and archaeological approaches to the Tiber valley, allowing a new reading of the historical landscape and the changing relationship between Rome and its hinterland. A volume on the ‘Changing landscapes of the middle Tiber valley’ is now in preparation by the director of the project and the two Leverhulme funded research fellows. Tiber Valley Project Roman Towns in the Tiber Valley

Battle of Amoy

The Battle of Amoy was fought between British and Qing forces at Amoy on Xiamen Island, Fujian, in the Qing Empire on 26 August 1841 during the First Opium War. The British captured the forts on nearby Gulangyu Island. Before the engagement, Qing forces prepared defenses along the shores of Xiamen and built batteries on Gulangyu Island; the British began the battle by bombarding the island's batteries for two to four hours, with little effect. Land forces disembarked their transports and took the batteries with little resistance; the day was noted as being hot and fatiguing to the men. Qing forces withdrew and the city fell the next day. A garrison force of 550 men from the 18th, three ships — the Druid and the Algerine— were left moored at Gulangyu to defend Xiamen. Rosa Luxemburg provides a brief account of the battle in her book The Accumulation of Capital. "On August 25, 1841, the British approached the town of Amoy, whose forts were armed with a hundred of the heaviest Chinese guns. These guns being useless, the commanders lacking in resource, the capture of the harbour was child’s play.

Under cover of a heavy barrage, British ships drew near the walls of Kulangau, landed their marines, after a short stand the Chinese troops were driven out. The twenty-six battle-junks with 128 guns in the harbour were captured, their crews having fled. One battery, manned by Tartars, heroically held out against the combined fire of three British ships, but a British landing was effected in their rear and the post wiped out."Commander John Elliot Bingham wrote a detailed first-hand account of the battle from a British perspective. Ships: Wellesley, 74. Narrative of the Expedition to China from the Commencement of the War to Its Termination in 1842. Volume 2. London: H. Colburn. Frontier and Overseas Expeditions From India. Vol. 6. Calcutta: Superintendent Government Printing. 1911. Hall, William Hutcheon; the Nemesis in China. Henry Colburn. Luxemburg, Rosa The Accumulation of Capital. MacPherson, Duncan. Two Years in China. Saunders and Otley