Bulla Regia is notable archaeological site in an extremely fertile region of northwestern Tunisia.
It is officially known as Colonia Aelia Hadriana Augusta Bulla Regia.
The ancient city was under the influence of the North African powerhouse Carthage around the 3rd century BC.
With the fall of Carthage the Romans eventually gained full control of the city sometime in the 1st century BC.
Prosperity for the city was the greatest between the 1st and 3rd centuries as it became a major producer and supplier of wheat, grains, grapes and olives to the Roman Empire.
Bulla Regia and other Roman towns in the region have been referred to as the breadbasket or granary of Rome.
Abandoned after a catastrophic earthquake, the city was buried by drifting sands and lost to the world for many centuries.
It was rediscovered accidentally in the late 1800’s by a French company constructing a railway through the region. Unfortunately some of the well preserved buildings including the monumental gateway to the city were recklessly destroyed at this time.
Thankfully the site is home to various excellent remnants of its past including a well preserved Roman theatre.
However the site is famed for its unique and distinctive underground villas that distinguish it from all other Roman towns
The subterranean villas are adorned with magnificent exquisite mosaics in situ built by the towns wealthy Romans residents in the second and third centuries AD.
The Villas provided an escape from he baking Tunisian summer heat and and provided warmth in the Winter.
All images, text and content are copyright Steven Sklifas.