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  • Nora, Ex Area Militare
  • Pula
  • Nora
  • Italy
  • Sardinia
  • Provincia di Cagliari
  • Pula

Credits

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  • AIAC_logo logo

Monuments

Periods

  • No period data has been added yet

Chronology

  • 800 BC - 700 AD

Season

    • May 2013 saw the start of the _Isthmos_ project, run by the University of Cagliari in collaboration with the Archaeological Superintendency for Cagliari and Oristano and the Comune of Pula. The project, directed by Prof. S. Angiolillo and Prof. M. Giuman, saw a first phase of survey followed by excavation. The interventions were concentrated in a sector of the promontory situated just beyond the isthmus linking the Nora peninsula to the mainland. This is an area of almost 15000 m2 that was occupied for a long period by military personnel and recently passed into the public domain. The surface survey was accompanied by a geophysical survey. Based on the survey results it was decided to concentrate excavations in two areas denominated Alfa and Beta, situated in the southern part of the area under investigation. The first area revealed sections of wall belonging to a structure of unknown function, but contiguous with a pit containing a large quantity of pottery and choroplastic votives, perhaps linked to the abandonment of a sacred area. In area two, a stretch of road paved with large andesite blocks was uncovered, probably the continuation of road E-F that skirts the eastern side of the so-called Insula A.
    • The University of Cagliari’s research in the ex military base at Nora began in 2013 and continued in 2014 with further investigation of two features identified in the previous year: a stretch of basalt road, the natural continuation of the road running to the east of the so-called ‘Insula A’, and part of a building with several occupation phases. This season’s work furthered the investigation of the south-eastern sector of the excavation area situated on the highest part of the site (Area Alfa). Here, walls belonging to a large rectangular building were exposed. The remains of a small channel and a pit probably relating to a small craft-working structure datable to the late antique phase were also identified. Important evidence was also found to the west of this sector (Area Delta) where the layers of collapse (to be investigated) seemed to indicate the presence of a residential area of the Roman city. Particular attention was paid to the sector east of the road E-F (Areas Beta and Gamma), where a trench from a previous excavation, in the period when this was still a military base, was intercepted.
    • The 2015 excavations concentrated on several sectors opened during the two previous campaigns and on new zones of interest determined by the results from the geophysical campaign undertaken in 2013. The first of these areas (Omega) is situated close to the fence that separates the archaeological area from the modern access road to the site. In this sector, the remains of a quadrangular building and a fountain with a semicircular exedra were identified, elements that suggest the presence of an important monumentalised public space.A trench (Omicron) was opened to the south which brought to light another section of the road E-F, identified in previous years in the southern part of the excavation area (Beta). In this sector, work continued in an effort to resolve several questions left unanswered during previous years. Three adjacent rooms were uncovered (Gamma II, III and IV), which formed part of the large structure next to the basalt road identified during the first excavation campaign. The rooms, sealed by layers of collapse from the walls, presented stratigraphy relating to the abandonment phases of the area dating to between the imperial period and the 7th century A.D. A terrace wall was exposed in the zone uphill between areas Gamma and Alfa (Delta) that was in context with the layers dating to no later than the 1st-2nd century A.D. This was of particular interest as it was part of the overall layout in this sector of the city in the early imperial period.
    • During this season, the team from Cagliari University concentrated on a number of urban structures associated with the road network in the northern sector (Area Omega), and the function and morphology of the rooms in the large block in the southern sector (Area Gamma). This campaign had three main aims: firstly, to provide information about the relationship between Area Alpha, situated at the highest point of the excavation area, and Area Beta, corresponding with road E-F; secondly, to gain more knowledge about the area by opening new trenches in the northern sector of the area (Areas Omicron and Omega); lastly, to investigate the “bathtub-shaped” cistern situated north of Areas Delta and Gamma. The excavations confirmed the presence of a construction nucleus (Area Gamma), in front of the basalt road investigated in previous years. The structures were mainly built in the technique using vertical pillars of stone filled with smaller blocks in between, and formed at least three rectangular rooms, whose function remains to be defined. During the 2013 survey, a “bathtub-shaped” cistern was identified in the sector north of Areas Gamma and Delta, characterised by several layers of waterproof mortar. Further investigation in this zone revealed a second cistern of the same type, at right angles to the first and connected to it. It was faced with the same type of mortar and positioned at a lower level, thus functioning as an overflow for the higher cistern. In order to further define the urban structures and conformation of the excavation area, it was decided to continue analysis of the area close to the fencing that borders the road leading to the archaeological park, in the zone north of the previously investigated areas (Area Omega). A semicircular structure was identified, built with rough stones bonded with cement mortar and faced with a brick curtain of less than 0.20 m on each side, in turn covered by a layer of moderately-well preserved plaster. The internal floor of the structure was formed by flat slabs, almost all fragmented. There was a small aperture bordered by bricks, sloping slightly towards the exterior, suggesting it was a drainage channel. On the south-east side, there was a quadrangular stone basin abutting the base of the structure, made of the same purple andesite as the internal slabs and the basoli in the roads at Nora. It rests on a forepart constituted by three blocks of calcarenitic stone, standing directly on the floor of andesite basoli, probably relating to the continuation of the road E-F, already seen in the archaeological park and Areas Beta and Omicron.
    • During this season, the team from Cagliari University concentrated on defining several urban structures associated with the road network in the northern sector (Area Omega), on defining the chronology, function and morphology of Area Alpha, and of the rooms in the large block in the southern area (Area Gamma). The excavations in Area Alpha revealed that the first occupation phase dated to the early imperial period, as attested by the finds. Initially used as a sort of “courtyard”, created by levelling the natural rock surface, the zone was probably used for craft working activities. Excavations also continued in Area Gamma, in front of the basalt road E-F (Area Beta), inside the three rooms identified last year. One of the rooms (A), contained a group of figured terracottas with the same iconography, datable based on the stratigraphic context to between the 1st century B.C. and the 1st century A.D. The data previously collected in Area Omega, although partial, suggested the presence of a public space decorated with structures linked with water provision, within a complex of which an exedra must have constituted only part of an important system within the urban layout of Nora in the imperial period. The continuation of the excavations revealed the presence of dry-stone walls, attributable to a post-abandonment phase of the sector (post 5th-6th century A.D.), on soil levels that had obliterated the flooring in the area. When the road surface of andesite basoli was reached, the continuation of the drainage channel identified last year was also found, which from the southern sector of the trench reached a semicircular structure. The drainage channel terminated in an open space, probably circular (probable diameter 5.50-6 m), characterised by the presence of elements in mortar and negative evidence of metal structures pertaining to the channelling of water. The negative structures led towards the exedra of the large circular pool, now filled with compact soil and collapsed material. The inner profile of the pool was formed by courses of large rectangular blocks 40 x40 cm (size of the visible faces). A new area (Psi) was opened in the north-western part of the excavation, where underneath a substantial dump of soil containing few materials, a structure was identified, which was probably built on top of an earlier Punic chamber tomb that had been opened.
    • In 2018, the _Isthmos_ research project has collaborated with Alicante University. The 2018 excavations concentrated on three areas: area Psi, in order to define the shape of the structure identified last year; area Omicron, to investigate aspects associated with the roads in the area at the foot of the northern slopes of the so-called Colle di Tanti; Area Omega, , with the main aim of defining the limits and construction characteristics of the circular pool identified in 2017. The excavations in Area Omega revealed important information about the basalt-paved area, which was monumentalised with structures relating to water supply. In the southern part a large circular pool was uncovered, which was built at the same time as the basoli for the road surface were laid. The inner profile of the pool was formed by courses of large rectangular blocks 40 x40 cm and in correspondence with the channel connecting it to the exedra in the north sector there was a neck from a Baetican amphora, probably reused as a drain or in an over flow system. The structure was completely robbed and obliterated and levelled to the same height as the road surface. From a preliminary analysis, the pottery found in the layers of the last phase seemed to date to between the mid 1st century A.D. and the early 2nd century A.D. Important data was recovered from the second sector (Area Omicron), thanks to a hole in the northern part of the basalt surface, which made it possible to investigate the underlying road make-up. As in Area Omega, the layers in this sector contained pottery datable to between the 1st century A.D. and the early 2nd century A.D. Area Psi, previously investigated in 2017, produced interesting information relating to the reuse of Punic tombs in the Roman period. In fact, a robbed chamber tomb was found here, reused in the Roman period as a functional part of a water collection system, within what was probably a residential structure. The latter is still in the excavation phase; so far, the north wall and some patches of a mosaic floor have been identified.

FOLD&R

    • Romina Carboni, Emiliano Cruccas, Luca Lanteri. 2014. Indagini archeologiche dell’Università degli Studi di Cagliari a Nora (CA) Progetto Isthmos - Ricognizione e campagna di scavo 2013 . FOLD&R Italy: 307.
    • Emiliano Cruccas, Romina Carboni. 2017. Indagini archeologiche dell’Università degli Studi di Cagliari a Nora (CA) Progetto Isthmos - Campagne di scavo 2015-2016 . FOLD&R Italy: 373.
    • Romina Carboni, Marco Giuman - Università degli Studi di Cagliari, Dipartimento di Scienze Archeologiche e Storico Artistiche (ora Dipartimento di Storia, Beni Culturali e Territorio). 2018. Fasi di frequentazione e utilizzo degli spazi urbani a Nora: il quartiere meridionale nell’ex area militare tra l’età tardo-repubblicana e quella imperiale . FOLD&R Italy: 418.

Bibliography

    • R. Carboni, 2017, Nora, Ex area militare. Settore meridionale, in «Quaderni Norensi» 6: 157-164.
    • E. Cruccas, 2017, Nora, Ex area militare. Settore nord-orientale, in «Quaderni Norensi» 6: 165-170.
    • R. Carboni, E. Cruccas, 2018, Ex base della Marina Militare: spazio pubblico e spazio privato a Nora, in «Quaderni Norensi» 7: 197-207.
    • M. Giuman, R. Carboni, 2018, Immagini di argilla. Su una tipologia di statuette provenienti dall'ex area militare di Nora, in M. Albertocchi, N. Cucuzza, M.B. Giannattasio (edd.), Simbolo e gesto. La determinazione di genere nelle statuette fittili del mondo greco, Quaderni di Archeologia 2, Ariccia: 1-13.
    • R. Carboni, E. Cruccas, 2017, Indagini archeologiche dell’Università degli Studi di Cagliari a Nora (CA). Progetto Isthmos - Campagne di scavo 2015-2016, in FOLD&R 373.
    • R. Carboni, E. Cruccas, L. Lanteri, 2014, Indagini archeologiche dell’Università degli Studi di Cagliari a Nora (CA). Progetto Isthmos - Ricognizione e campagna di scavo 2013, in FOLD&R 307.
    • S. Angiolillo, M. Giuman, R. Carboni, E. Cruccas, 2014, Prima campagna di ricognizione e scavo dell’Università di Cagliari. Relazione preliminare 2013, in «Quaderni Norensi» 5: 191-199.
    • R. Carboni, E. Cruccas, L. Lanteri, 2015, Nora (Pula-Cagliari). Progetto Isthmos. Campagna di survey e scavo 2013, in L’Africa Romana, Atti del XX Convegno di Studio (Alghero, Ponte Conte Ricerche, 26-29 settembre 2013), Roma: 1829-1839.
    • S. Angiolillo, M. Giuman, R. Carboni, E. Cruccas (edd.), 2016 NORA ANTIQUA, Atti del Convegno di Studi (Cagliari - Cittadella dei Musei, 3-4 ottobre 2014), Morlacchi University.