Antiquarium Arborense - Museo archeologico Giuseppe Pau OristanoAntiquarium Arborense - Museo archeologico Giuseppe Pau Oristano

Skip over navigation bar and go to contents

Go to the main menu

Antiquarium Arborense
Piazza Corrias, 09170 Oristano - Tel: 0783 791262 -

Sections of the site:

Go up


Miniature models: Tharros in the 4th century and Oristano capital of the Giudicato d'Arborea


The plastic model represents the city of Tharros during its maximum expression of Roman City.
Reconstruction’s area extends southward from the isthmus, as far as slope’s declivity of Su Muru Mannu northward: we suppose that city and suburban areas were included in this territory.
The city of Tharros has Phoenician origins: some fragments of geometrical Greek ceramics and Phoenician crockery, found in Muru Mannu hill, date back to the VIII century B.C.; the achievement of urban form, according to some historians’ opinion, goes back to the intervention of Carthage, which established Tharros as “new city”, a real Carthage in Sardinia.
During five centuries, the city of Tharros had its urban rise: it became, from calling- port for supplies along Mediterranean commercial courses, the main city of Punic economical system. In that period the city had its urbanistic structure and its planimetry held out in the following centuries, during Roman and Byzantine domination. 
Just after the first Punic war (241 B.C.), in 238-37 B.C. Tharros passed under Roman dominion, but kept its commercial power among Punic cities; in fact, mediterranean commercial courses continued including Tharros among the main ports of call, even if cities as Caralis (Cagliari) and Olbia were favoured by the changed political balances.  


After the abandonment of Tharros (1070), the city of Oristano became the capital of the Giudicato of Arborea (11th century-1410). The people of Tharros, sick of continuous menaces and incursions of Saracen pirates, decided to move towards the interior, in a safer place: so they arrived in Oristano, inhabited since the Byzantine age. Soon the new capital had a defensive system that was developed at the end of 1200 by means of king Mariano the Second.
This is the reconstruction of the city of Oristano at the end of the 14th century: there are three main towers near city’s principal entrances, and twenty- eight smaller towers as wall’s potentiation. Northward the tower of Mariano the Second, also called Porta Manna or Porta Pontis; southward the tower of San Filippo, identical with the first, connected to the palace of the king and his court; eastward the tower of Portixedda, a little tower with an original square plan but now, as you can see visiting it (ask to Museum’s guides), with a truncated- cone shape that dates back to the Spanish age. 
The Tirso river feeds the moat that runs along the wall, making still more inexpugnable the city that here you see reconstructed, with the most important religious buildings of that period: the Romanesque Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta and its bell tower with octagonal base, the convent and the church of San Francesco, the hospital that dates back to the age of Giudicati, the church of San Mauro, the church with square plan dedicated to San Saturnino (Byzantine age) and, in the end, the church and the convent of cloistered nuns of Santa Chiara.  


© Antiquarium Arborense - Museo archeologico Giuseppe Pau Oristano
Piazza Corrias, 09170 Oristano  |   Tel: 0783 791262  | ConsulMedia 2012

Torna su