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SULCIS (S. Antioco) Sardinia, Italy.

A city on the island of the same name, facing the SW coast of Sardinia. The historians (Strab. 5.2.7, Paus. 10.17.9) attribute its foundation to the Carthaginians, but probably the locality was earlier the site of a Phoenician colony superimposed upon a nuraghic settlement. A secondary colony of Sulcis was the little center near Mount Sirai, a few kilometers toward the interior of the island. During the civil war Sulcis took the part of Pompey and thus was subject to heavy confiscations imposed by Caesar in 46 B.C. In the 1st c. A.D. it became a Roman municipium and was inscribed in the Quirina tribe. Numerous inscriptions from the 1st and 2d c. record public works and statues erected in honor of the Emperors. The life of the city continued into the medieaval period in spite of the Saracen invasions.

Systematic excavation, which began in 1954, has localized the site of the ancient city, whose urban complex extended to the N and S of the isthmus which unites it with Sardinia. The remains consist of a few fragments of mosaic pavements from the Roman Imperial period. The walls surrounding the city were constructed to the W, on Mount “De Cresia,” and continued to the port. On the N side, about midway up the hill of the Fortino, the various building phases of a sacred structure of Classical type have been discovered. It is oriented E-W, and surrounded by a portico with columns. In the area immediately to the N is a vast complex of courtyards. It includes three rectangular enclosures, two of which overlap, that are aligned on the outer side with another broad enclosure. The complex has been identified as the tophet, which in part takes advantage of the natural rock formation. The earliest objects from this sanctuary, which is contemporaneous with the origin of the city, date from the 9th to the 7th c. B.C. The uppermost stratum extends to the Republican period. The necropoleis of Sulcis extend along the sides of the two hills on which the modern city lies. The tombs are of the Punic type, and were reused by the Romans and again by the early Christians. The remains of a painted arcosolium in one of the tombs and crematory urns scattered on the surface of the area date from the time of Constantine. A few remains from the Roman period have been found at Is Solus, probably within city limits in the Republican epoch. They include large cisterns, a drainage basin for water, a funerary mausoleum in stone in Via Eleonora d'Arborea, and from a house in Via Garibaldi a pavement from the 2d c. A.D. To the E, on the isthmus, is a Roman bridge with a single arch. Remains of the docks from the ancient port are along the beach. Imperial statues were found at Su Narboni, and on the property of the Rivano family. It is not known where the temple dedicated to Isis and Serapis (CIL X, 7514) was located. The objects from the excavations are presently preserved in the Antiquarium, in small local private col!ections, and in the National Museum at Cagliari.


A. Taramelli, NSc (1908) 145ffI; (1914) 406ffI; (1925) 470ff; E. Pais, Storia della Sardegna e della Corsica, (1923) 20, 112, 361ff; A. Lamarmora, Viaggio in Sardegna, I (1927) 128ff; P. Mingazzini, Studi Sardi 8 (1948) 73ffPI; G. Pesce, Sardegna punica (1961) 43fMPI; id., in EAA 7 (1966) 551ffI.


hide References (2 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (2):
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 10.17.9
    • Strabo, Geography, 5.2.7
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