Open Conference Systems, Kainua 2017

Font Size: 
Tharros – Capo San Marco in the Phoenician and Punic age. Geophysical investigations and virtual rebuilding
Anna Chiara Fariselli, Federica Boschi, Michele Silani, Melania Marano

Last modified: 2017-03-21


The exposed project started in 2012 and concerns the study of the relationship between the urban and suburban districts of the Phoenician and Punic city of Tharros (Oristano). The city is still partially unknown, in particular with regard to this cultural phase in Sardinia. The structures of the Phoenician and Punic Tharros have been deleted by the Roman occupation. For this reason it is very difficult to determine the original function of many neighborhoods during the Carthaginian period.

The excavation has affected primarily the Southern necropolis of Capo San Marco; the cemetery is still little known, in part due to the devastation of the site caused by repeated violations of the ancient tombs occurred during the nineteenth century. In addition to the new dig activities, a 3D topographical survey aimed at the complete documentation of the site and at the virtual rebuilding of the Phoenician and Punic funerary landscape has been accomplished.

Another goal of the project is the insertion of this sector of the promontory within the habitual tourist route, in order to foster the public fruition of Capo San Marco, always adopting proper scientific methods and modern techniques.

In this direction, geophysical prospecting surveys were carried out in the southern sector of the Capo San Marco, near the so-called “rustic temple”, in order to assess the human presence in the farthest point of the Sinis peninsula (characterised by the presence of the Late Punic ruins of a probable light-house with sacred functions), and across the whole isthmus Sa Codriola towards the hill of San Giovanni, with the aim to analyse the northern boundary of the cemetery and its relationship to the city.

The Punic-Roman settlement is now enclosed in the archaeological park, that is a fraction of what was supposed to be the administrative capital of Carthage in Sardinia. 3D modelling and virtual reconstructions have been focused also on the residential Punic and Roman area inside the park.

The integrated application of the most advanced topographical and geophysical techniques to the site is largely contributing to the recording and understanding of the ancient landscape, with particular attention reserved to the identification of the urban and suburban developments occurred from the 8th to the 2nd century BC.