The modern village, built upon the ancient site, is between Cape Calava and the Cape of Milazzo on the Gulf of Patti, 10 km E of the town of Patti on the main highway that encircles the island.
Tyndaris began as a colony of Dionysios I in 396 B.C. It remained faithful to Rome during the Punic wars and prospered under the Empire. Pliny (2.206) records a landslide of the 1st c. A.D., in which part of the town fell away into the sea 280 m below the steep cliffs. Tyndaris became a diocese, and its role in Gnaeco-Roman events ended with the advent of the Arabs.
The site extends ca. 1 km SE-NW. The Greek acropolis is covered by the modern sanctuary of the black Madonna, and the agora by the village; tests, however, have been carried out. The ashlar circuit wall with its later accretions is the most imposing monument datable to the colony's beginnings. The single-nave Republican basilica marks the SE boundary of the excavations open to the public. Its restoration is in progress. A walk to the upper decumanus, which leads NW from its start at the basilica, reveals the museum on the left, and the insulae of Graeco-Roman houses and a public bath on the right. The two peristyle houses and the baths nearby show signs of later embellishment. Poor huts of the 4th-5th c. A.D. lie over the baths. At the end of the decumanus is the Greek theater (remodeled by the Romans). (H. L. ALLEN)
Info: Princeton Encyclopedia
(Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites, from Perseus Project)