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The Social, Economic, and Commercial Networks of Punic-Roman Tharros: New questions and new excavations for a major port town in Sardinia
October 4, 2019 @ 2:00 pm EDT
707 S. Mathews Street
Urbana, IL 61801 United States
Sponsored by: Archaeological Institute of America
AIA Society: Central Illinois (Urbana)
Lecturer: Steven Ellis
In this presentation we take a ‘behind-the-scenes’ tour of the latest (and still ongoing) excavations of the Punic and Roman city of Tharros, on the west coast of Sardinia. Considered one of the most spectacular archaeological sites in the Mediterranean, perched as the city is along a narrow peninsular into the sea, Tharros has long attracted visitors to its shores, from Phoenicians and Carthaginians to Romans and Spaniards, all of them taking advantage of its prime location and protected harbor. As a commercial center, Tharros serviced one of the most important trading routes of the Mediterranean, that between Carthage and Marseille. Early results from the excavations by the University of Cincinnati show that this movement of people and material made an important impact on the livelihoods of the town’s local inhabitants; new foods were consumed, new cultural customs were adopted, and new ideas in architecture were developed. But these discoveries are so new that the presentation is less about showcasing results and answers as it is about exploring the various ways in which the team is approaching an archaeological excavation of this type, one that is focused on questions of the social and structural making of a long-lived city. Paired as the project is with Cincinnati’s excavations at Pompeii, the presentation will also examine the extent to which two related projects of two different cities can connect both information and methodologies to help form a richer understanding of Roman urbanization.