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Excavation

  • Nora, ex Area militare
  • Pula
  •  
  • Italy
  • Sardinia
  • Provincia di Cagliari
  • Pula

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Summary (English)

  • Since 2012, the University of Padova has been excavating in the area of the town situated immediately north of the present entrance to the archaeological site and occupied by naval installations.
    Between 2012 and 2014, an intensive campaign of geophysical surveys using georadar (GPR) and geoelectric (ERT) instruments was carried out.
    In, Based on the survey results, 2014 and 2015 it was possible to delimit the area of greatest interest in which to open the first trench, thus revealing a previously unknown funerary complex of Phoenician and Punic date.

    The Punic necropolis with chamber-tombs
    The excavations in trench I, where a bank of Tyrrhenian sandstone sloping slightly downwards from north-east (Casa della Guardiania) to south-west (Porticciolo) had already emerged, exposed the rocky substrata that presented several regular cuts.
    These included at least three rectangular cuts, on average about 2.20 m long and 0.70 m wide, interpreted as entrance shafts to underground tombs. The gradual excavation of one of these cuts confirmed that it was the entrance to a chamber tomb, cut into the sandstone and already disturbed in antiquity. The shaft led into a first chamber (fig. 1), rectangular-trapezoidal in plan and between 2.73 m and 2.31 m wide. A small door led into another chamber that was quadrangular-trapezoidal in plan. The variety of materials found inside the tomb suggests that the fills were formed during the mid imperial period.

    An elongated rectangular cut in the bedrock proved to be the entrance shaft to another underground chamber. This tomb was particular in that it was continually in use for a long period: the burial chamber in the Punic period (fig. 2), was reused in the Roman period as a cistern, the walls faced with waterproof opus signinum with a shaft used for drawing water. A large amount of material was recovered from the tomb; the modality of its deposition as well as the layers of fill support the hypothesis that the necropolis was used as a rubbish dump in the Roman period.
    The gradual enlargement of the trench revealed two more cuts in the bedrock, larger than those described above were, with covers still in place (fig. 3).

    The Phoenician necropolis with cremation burials
    In the same area, traces were found of use in the archaic period, as attested by the Phoenician cremation burials excavated in 2014. Of these, at least four were in shallow cuts in the bedrock, containing the cremated bones of the deceased, which were covered by piles of stones or earth and the grave goods. The ceramic containers recovered during the excavation date these burials to as early as the early 7th century B.C.
    This season, the extension of the trench revealed what appears to be a burial in a stone cist (fig. 4).

    Although the excavation remains to be completed, a series of considerations can be made, particularly regarding dating, funerary and cult elements. The earliest traces identified increase knowledge of Nora in the archaic period. The archaeological evidence also confirms and adds to the evidence for a “western group” of Punic underground tombs, described by Patroni on the basis of investigations undertaken by various scholars, including Nissardi, in the years between 1871 and 1901.

  • Jacopo Bonetto Università degli Studi di Padova - Dipartimento dei Beni Culturali 
  • Alessandro Mazzariol - Università degli Studi di Padova - Dipartimento dei Beni Culturali  
  • Eliana Bridi - Università degli Studi di Padova - Dipartimento dei Beni Culturali 

Director

  • Jacopo Bonetto Università degli Studi di Padova - Dipartimento dei Beni Culturali

Team

  • Alessandro Mazzariol - Università degli Studi di Padova - Dipartimento dei Beni Culturali
  • Chiara Andreatta - Università degli Studi di Padova - Dipartimento dei Beni Culturali
  • Eliana Bridi - Università degli Studi di Padova - Dipartimento dei Beni Culturali
  • Filippo Carraro - Università degli Studi di Padova - Dipartimento dei Beni Culturali
  • Leonardo Bison - Università degli Studi di Padova - Dipartimento dei Beni Culturali
  • Marina Covolan - Università degli Studi di Padova - Dipartimento dei Beni Culturali
  • Simone Dilaria -Università degli Studi di Padova - Dipartimento dei Beni Culturali
  • Luca Zamparo - Università degli Studi di Padova - Dipartimento dei Beni Culturali
  • Monika Ranzato - Università degli Studi di Padova - Dipartimento dei Beni Culturali

Research Body

  • Soprintendenza Archeologia della Sardegna
  • Università degli Studi di Padova - Dipartimento dei Beni Culturali

Funding Body

  • Comune di Pula
  • Università degli Studi di Padova - Dipartimento dei Beni Culturali

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