Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Cagliari, Sardinia

The Phoenician inscription on the eighth-century B.C. Nora Stone—found near the ancient Phoenician settlement of Nora, modern Pula in Sardinia—proves that the name “Sardinia” has been in use for 2,800 years. The third line from the top of the 3.5-foot-high stela reads, from right to left, b sardn, meaning “on the island of Sardinia.”

The inscription appears to commemorate the early eighth-century B.C. founding of the Phoenician colony of Nora and the building of a temple dedicated to one “Lpmy”—perhaps referring to the Phoenician king Pygmalion (820–774 B.C.) of Tyre.