The documentary “The secrets of civilization” gave fascinating insights into how Romans changed their environment. First, there is an artificial mound in Rome known as Monte Testaccio, a big ancient waste heap which is nearly entirely made of broken pieces from discarded containers (amphora) used for, for example, storing olive oil. Here are two videos about the site:

Second, the documentary mentioned how a landscape in Spain, Las Médulas is the result of a Roman gold-mining technique called Ruina Montium (“wrecking of mountains”). Here is a video describing the process from IMAGEEN.

Finally, it’s interesting to know that it seems that a period of unusually warm weather, called the Roman Climactic Optimum, may have benefitted the Romans.

Wouter Van Rossem
Wouter Van Rossem

My research interests include distributed robotics, mobile computing and programmable matter.