Port of 'second Carthage' found
Ancient Phoenician harbour discovered off Sardinian coast
(ANSA) - Oristano, September 25 - Archaeologists in Sardinia said
Thursday they have found the port of the Phoenician city of Tharros,
held by some to be the ancient people's most important colony in the
Mediterranean after Carthage.
Researchers from the University of Cagliari and Sassari found the
submerged port in the Mistras Lagoon, several kilometres from the city
Excavations have long been going on at the site of the city itself, on
a peninsula overlooking the Bay of Oristano in western Sardinia, but
this is the first time its waterfront has been located despite almost
two centuries of hunting.
As well as an impressive sandstone wall 100 metres in length and four
metres in width, the archaeologists discovered a basin carved in the
rock, similar to Carthage's man-made, protected inner harbour.
A rectilinear waterfront stretches for 225 metres with a 190-metre
jetty and there is a 50-metre-long approach canal for ships, the
The city of Tharros was founded in the eighth century BC. The
Phoenicians were an ancient maritime trading people who formed a
massive commercial empire across the Mediterranean from their bases
along the coast of modern-day Lebanon, Syria and Israel.
The city was later populated by the Romans before being destroyed by
Saracen raiders in the tenth century AD.
Among the Italian cities the Phoenicians founded is today's capital of
Sardinia, Cagliari, and the Sicilian capital Palermo.
Other colonies included Cadiz and Malaga in Spain and Tangiers in Morocco.