Detailed sheets

The territory of Luogosanto during the Phoenician Age

Phoenicians and Carthaginians are well documented populations along the coasts of Gallura, especially within the Olbia area (fig. 1) - where the Phoenician presence has been dated to the mid-eighth century B.C. - as well as in the immediate hinterland.

Fig. 1 - Olbia, dispersal area of Phoenician and Greek artefacts (from D’ORIANO 2010, p. 11, fig. 2).

To date, the hinterland of Gallura has not produced any evidence related to contacts with or domination by these people: a passage from Pausanias could be linked to this as during the second century B.C. he stated that all Sardinians had been subdued by the Carthaginians except for the Iliensi and Corsican people (fig. 2).

Fig. 2 - Non-urbanised populations of Sardinia (from Mastino 2005 p. 307, fig. 35).

The latter, who probably originated from Corsica, belong to the group of populations in the high Gallura area which blocked the Phoenician colonisation (fig. 3) and made the Roman one difficult.

During the transition period between the Carthaginian domination (VI-III B.C.) and the Roman conquest of Sardinia (238 B.C.), according to Pausanias, the Balari people, African mercenaries or Iberians who settled in upper Gallura, reached the island - later giving the area its name of Balariana (Balaiana) Luogosanto - following desertion from the Carthaginian troops, after the end of the first Punic War (264-241 B.C.); in the Corsican language their name means "refugees or deserters”.

Fig. 3 - Phoenician colonisation showing city-states in Phoenicia and the main centres of expansion (from

No evidence relating to this period has been found (IX-III centuries B.C.) in the municipal area of Luogosanto, perhaps because of the set back position of its centre away from the commercial routes which ran along the coast. It is possible that future research might reveal more elements concerning this historical period.


  • M. AUBET, Tiro y las colonias fenicias de occidente. Tercera edición actualizada y ampliada, Barcellona 2009, pp. 175-180.
  • R. D’ORIANO, Indigeni, Fenici e Greci a Olbia, in Bollettino di Archeologia online, I, 2010, pp. 10-25.
  • M. MADAU, La Gallura di età fenicia e punica, in R. CAPRARA, A. LUCIANO, G. MACIOCCO (a cura di), Archeologia del territorio. Territorio dell’archeologia. Un sistema informativo territoriale orientato sull’archeologia della regione ambientale Gallura, Sassari 1996, pp. 99-107.
  • A. MASTINO, Tempio Pausania: Gemellae oppure Heraeum, in Dal mondo antico all'età contemporanea: studi in onore di Manlio Brigaglia offerti dal Dipartimento di storia dell'Università di Sassari = Collana del Dipartimento di Storia dell’Università degli studi di Sassari, Nuova serie 7, Roma, 2001, pp. 79-117.
  • A. MASTINO (a cura di), Storia della Sardegna antica = La Sardegna e la sua storia, 2, Nuoro 2005, pp. 306-307.
  • F. PINNA, Archeologia del territorio in Sardegna. La Gallura tra tarda antichità e medioevo, Cagliari 2008, p. 53.