The Punic-Roman city of Tharros on the western shores of Sardinia served as a critical node in the network of important trade routes between the coastal ports of Spain (and the Balaeric Islands), Carthage, and Massalia (now Marseille) from the 7th century BC through to about the 6th century AD.

The University of Cincinnati has recently begun new archaeological fieldwork at the site, best known for its rich tombs and grave goods of the Punic period. Our excavations are targeting the city itself - particularly its residential and retail quarters - to ask new questions about the socio-economic fabric of the Punic and Roman levels of the bustling port town.

Given that the urban history of Tharros has never been clearly articulated, a preliminary aim of our project is to identify the city's episodic growth spurts and to connect these developments to our broader understanding of economic and urban history. We are especially interested, moreover, in the social and structural making of the city, with questions about diet and urban consumption, social stratigraphy, and the motivations behind urban investment, as well as civic infrastructure, including the recycling of urban waste as construction material.

The project is directed by Prof. Steven Ellis in collaboration with the Soprintendenza per i Beni archeologici delle province di Cagliari e Oristano, the Area Marina Protetta Penisola del Sinis, and the Comune di Cabras.
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