Ministero della Cultura

You are in: Home / Museums

Archaeological area of Nora


The city of Nora is one of the most popular and important archaeological sites of Sardinia. It was a Phoenician center, and later a Punic and Roman city. From the nineteenth century until today, the area has been the  object of archaeological excavations and research of great interest.

The History

The Phoenician frequentation of the promontory of Capo di Pula began at the beginning of the 8th century B.C. The famous stele of Nora, with its inscription in Phoenician characters bearing the word Sardinia for the first time, dates back to this period. The permanent inhabited center probably developed around the 6th century B.C. with the arrival of the Carthaginians. With the official institution of the province, from 238 B.C., and from 227 B.C., Sardinia came under the Roman control, retaining evident phenomena of cultural continuity.

After taking the title of municipium, Nora equipped itself with the typical structures of the Roman city, such as the forum, the theater, and the thermal buildings. In 455 B.C, the Vandals occupied the island until the Byzantine conquest. During this time, some of the structures, like the theater,  lost their function and were reutilized for activities that differed from the original ones. The last frequentations date back to the 8th century B.C.

The first excavations in the archaeological area dates back to the late nineteenth century when, after a strong swell, the tophet, an artifact worthy of attention, resurfaced. From the years 1891/1892 the archaeologist Filippo Nissardi investigated the Punic necropolises, and in the early twentieth century, a small area of the Roman necropolis was brought to light. During the 1950s the urban area was systematically examined by Gennaro Pesce, and later went through further but sporadic interventions in the 1970s and 1980s.

A steady exploration of the site began again in 1990, and still goes on today, thanks to the work of the Universities of Cagliari, Genova, Milano, and Padova.


Loc. Nora
09010 Pula