Tharros, the site of an ancient city in Sardinia, is best approached by sea. A scattering of ruins near a small village, it lies on a tiny peninsula that hangs south off the western coast of the island. The site’s easily defensible location and its ample harbor on the Bay of Oristano have shaped its history.
To get to Tharros, we take a boat from the modern city of Oristano, cross the bay and sail past the sheltering waters of the nearby lagoon. Soon the two tall columns that mark the remains of the fallen Roman city come into view.
My husband Dick and I first came to Tharros when we joined a team of Israeli underwater archaeologists as volunteers working in Sardinia during the summer of 1984. The purpose of the expedition was threefold:
• To study the ancient history of the island from remains that can be seen only there.
• To test a side-scan sonar device designed to locate underwater anomalies that are created by archaeological remains.