This work examines a group of clay figurines representing porters carrying sacks (saccarii) recovered from Ostia and other harbours. The saccarii were responsible for the loading and unloading of goods from ships to river boats and warehouses. Contextual and iconographic analyses of the statuettes suggest they represented the religious symbol (genius) of the workers’ guild (collegium). Their probable location in shrines and niches in streets, taverns and workshops, frequented by saccarii and the heterogeneous community, gives an insight into the exhibition of social identity and religious beliefs through material culture by a group of overlooked workers in Roman Imperial Ostia.
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