Six extensive campaigns of underwater exploration and recovery were directed by Michel Cassien and his team (Touring Club de France) between 1978 and 1984 in the waters around the Nora peninsula (Sardinia). The Project aims to analyse the large amount of Phoenician and Punic pottery from Cassien’s underwater recoveries off the coast of Nora, the ‘first city of Sardinia’ according to Pausanias. The research will fit fully into the research context of the centre of Nora, a settlement established on the south coast of Sardinia with the arrival of eastern sailors and developed as a city throughout the Punic and Roman periods.
The launch of a chrono-typological analysis of amphorae, cooking and table ware, lamps and other shapes aims at identifying and contextualising the underwater cultural heritage from the seascape of Nora. The analytic study of the artefacts and the goods imported/exported to Nora will shed light on the connections of this Sardinian centre with other Mediterranean shores, from the Near East to the Iberian coastal settlements.
Moreover, the recognition of definite ceramic shapes and the chronological definition of these may allow us to recognise some coherent contexts and thus help estimate the quantity of shipwrecks and their position in the Nora seascape. Thanks to an integrated study of the reports edited by Cassien, it is possible to reliably reconstruct the positions of the objects recovered. The repositioning of the analysed finds on a new reference map may highlight an extremely interesting background, one that is fundamental for a better understanding of local and overseas trade flows that affected Nora between the early Phoenician and the late Punic periods.