Archaeological Sites

 

Amaedara ( Haidra)

Originally a Numidian city, it became the third Augustan Legion’s first permanent camp, when it was fighting the war against  Tacfarinas ( 17-24 AD).The third Legion left Amaedara for Teveste ( Tebessa in Algeria). The camp was made a Colonia and mapped out on the lines of Carthage and Sbeitla ( Sufetula). Settled by army veterans, from Italy, Gaul and Africa, the town prospered. Amaedara became a bishopric in 258 AD and, like most African towns, sent both a Catholic and a Donatist bishop to the council of Carthage in 411 AD. Occupied by the Vandals in 439 AD, it recovered its strategic importance under the Byzantines, who fortified it with an enormous citadel.

 



American  cemetery and  world war II monument

North Africa Cemetery

Carthage  Tunisia.

Department of State- Tunis.

Washington, DC 20521-6360.

cThe cemetery site covers 27 acres of the plateau lying between the Mediterranean and the bay of Tunis, both of which are  a mile or so distant. It is located near the site of the ancient Carthaginian city destroyed by the Romans in 146 BC and lies over part of the site of Roman Carthage. After World War II a survey made jointly by representatives of the Secretary of War and the American Battle Monuments Commission revealed that all the sites of the temporary cemeteries established in north Africa had major disadvantages. The present site was established in 1948. It lies in the sector of the British First Army which liberated Tunis in May 1943. Construction of the cemetery and memorial was completed in 1960. Here rest 2,841 of American military Dead, representing 39 percent of the burials which are originally made in North Africa and Iran.  A high proportion of these gave their lives in the landing, and occupation of Morocco and Algeria, and in subsequent fighting which culminated in the liberation of Tunisia. Others died as a result of accident or sickness in these and other parts of North Africa, or while serving in the Persian Gulf Command in Iran.

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CARTHAGE (Roman CARTHAGO) a UNESCO  world Heritage Site

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Chébika: (Latin : Ad Sepecum).

It is also called ( Qasr El-Shams literally means in Arabic: the Castle of the Sun), because of the signals sent by mirrors ( latin: speculum) by Roman legionnaires positioned on top of the village mountains to track Caravans , and to look after  the  southern Limes, the village, makes  its  demarcation line. Steps and a path through the gorge to a small waterfall , and on to the spring which waters the Oasis. Next to the spring, steps and steep climb lead up to the summit, where a great view: spreading the horizon the desert and the great salt lake( the shott) is straight ahead. A wonderful scenery.

Dougga: ( Roman Thugga) a UNESCO world Heritage Site.

dThe English traveler James Bruce noted in 1765: “ these magnificent remains of taste and greatness, so easily reached in perfect safety by a ride along the Madjerda”.

It was a Numidian city that existed well before the arrival of the Romans in Africa. Diodorus the Sicilian mentioned this city in the 4th century BC as Tocai. And Ptolemy called it Toukka. Latin inscriptions engraved under Roman rule referred to it as Thugga. The city was from the 2nd to the 1st century BC one of the residences of the Massyle kings, Massinissa, Micipsa, Jughurtha.

In Roman times the municipal land was split into two parts: the Numidian city, and a pagus, rural area, under the authority of Carthage, Whole again, Thugga was a municipium in 205 and honorary Colonia in 261.With some 5.000 residents, Thugga had a municipal bourgeoisie which endowed her with a number of rich monuments.

The monuments are incredibly well preserved, allowing us to imagine the infrastructure this little proconsular town possessed:

12 pagan Temples, 3 transformed into churches in the 4th C, 3 baths, numerous tanks and fountains, 1 nymphaeum, 1 aqueduct, 1 market, 2 theaters,1 circus, several necropolises and mausoleums.

After its 2nd C prosperity, Thugga slowly lost its glory, though it still enjoyed brief periods of revival in the late 3rd, the 4th and 6th centuries. Though it was never deserted, archaeological research required the removal of its residents to a new Dougga lying below classical Thugga.

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KERKOUENE

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Mides : Latin Madés , nicknamed: the biblical village.

Because of the so many movie sets the village offered.

It is an abandoned berber village with a fantastic view of a gorge .The Oasis shaded by palms, has a multitude of fruit trees, like pomegranates, lemon and orange trees.

The old houses, clinging on the sheer rock face a deep and extremely impressive gorge. which is around 3 km around the village providing a natural defensive positioned with only one way to enter the village.

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Thuburbo Maius

Before being Roman, the town was Libic( libic=the original inhabitants of north Africa) and then Punic. During the last punic war Thuburbo Maius sided with Carthage and thus had to pay a tribute when Rome won. Made a municipium by roman Emperor Hadrian( 128 A.D) and under Commodus (188) the free citizens of Thuburbo Maius were granted the status of Roman citizens.

Made rich by its wheat Thuburbo Maius reached its apogee in the 2nd

C.A.D  with 10.000 inhabitants and a galaxy of monuments: The forum ( 161 AD). Temple of mercury

– Temple of Baalat.

-Temple of Caelistis.

-Temple of Saturn : which became later a basilica.


TOZEUR : Latin : Tusuros

Also known as the country of Date Palm trees. Which groups Nefta ( 20 km to the west) , Dguesh village and El-Hamma ( there’s an other Hamma near Gabes city). The date harvest made the town an important market and in the past attracted caravans and merchants from the far south. Tozeur’s vast  Oases covers around ten square kilometers, planted with some 400.000 palms and fed by 200 springs, the water chanelled along dykes ( Seguias) and controlled by a series of streams. Engeneer Ibn Shabat ( 13 c A.D),

Blocked these streams with sections of palm trunks, which were opened and closed by orders of the warden.

The brick work : The brick work in Tozeur and Nefta are unique in Tunisia, made of yellowish hand made bricks to make geometric designs in relief on the walls of the houses and public edifices such as mosques. The decorative technique was first used in Mesopotamia and was carried by the Arabs in the seventh century and still practiced today.

 women dress In  Tozeur : Traditionally  dressed women  in Tozeur  and the Oases wear a distinctive black gown ( Abaya).  Which found its origins in Iraq and Arabia.

Date Palm : This amazing plant  ( is not a tree it is rather a shrub, latin:  phoenix dactalyphera) yields dates ( more than 120 varieties) the finest is the ‘’Deglett  Ennour ‘’ means in Arabic :finger of light. Tozeur and Nefta produces most of the harvest, most of which is exported to Europe for Christmas. The palms are artificially ( manually)pollinated  from  April to June each year, and the fruit harvested by hand at the beginning of winter.

The date is extremely nutritious ( not only high in energy but also rich in niacin, iron, potassium, phosphorus and pantothemic acid. The stones are used also to feed camels.

From the date, a famous Oasis wine is made ( Palm wine or Leghmi): the sap of the palm, collected from the top of the trunk by cutting off one of the fronds and letting it drip into an earth ware pot tied to the trunk. It takes 24 hours to ferment and available in sweet ( fresh) and fermented versions. Tapping the tree for palm wine will eventually kill it. So palms producing fine quality dates are not used, as the Tunisian law protects it.


Tamerza ( Latin: ad Turres.)

A mountain Oasis on a hill foot, flooded during the 70 ies of the last century. The Tunisian government built an other village, with modern housing and schools, health services, streets. Instead of the mud and stone houses which composes the entire village.

The Oasis uses a spring to irrigate the palms channeled in concrete artificial channels, in the old town, used to be a house with an antique system for water partition, based on amphora which is full of water hang on a palm trunk, a hole in the bottom allows water to be emptied in a certain time, the full time( a unit called :Gadus ) and then every owner or share cropper has a certain amount fixed by what it looks like the village council ( or water partition comity) which had its roots back to the Carthaginian times.

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