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On the southern edge of the Sinis peninsula, just a few kilometres from Oristano, lie the ruins of Tharros, which resume the ancient history of Sardinia, testifying the various layers of civilizations and cultures populating the area in ancient times. A first settlement dates back to the Bronze Age; necropolis were placed on the sides of the current village of San Giovanni, and in the funeral ornaments some materials imported from Etruria, Greece and the Far East have been found, together with splendid jewels proving very well developed craftsmanship skills.

The Phoenician’s colony was founded at the end of the 8th century b.c., due to the strategic position of this site respect to the Iberian and Tyrrhenian courses, and the control of the coasts of Sinis and Oristano. The colony reused the walls surrounding the northern slopes of the hill for defensive purposes, while in the middle of the ruins of the old huts, they put a tofet, the open air sanctuary which is typical of the Phoenician’s civilizations.

During the Punic age, Tharros was one of the most important stops on the courses to Africa and Spain, and an important craftsman centre. A characteristic manufacture of this period were the numerous green beetles similar to the Egyptian amulets. Under the Romans the road system was improved, and new residential districts grew up, in addition, of course, to the spa resorts.

After the Roman conquer, Tharros began its decline, until the complete abandonment around the year 1000, probably after the incursions of the Saracen pirates.

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