Dougga Tunisia, fringes of the Roman Empire

by Steven Sklifas
Roman theatre. Dougga Tunisia.

The wonderfully intact ancient Roman settlement of Dougga is located 110 km south-west of Tunis , the capital city of Tunisia.

Situated on hilltop (571 metres elevation) overlooking a fertile valley with olive groves and fields of grain, Dougga provides an intimate insight into life in antiquity and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Originally named Thugga by the Numidians founders, the city was annexed by Roman Emperor Caesar and became part of the Roman Empire.

From the 2nd to the 4th century, under Roman rule, the city experienced its greatest period of growth and splendour when its landowners grew wealthy from the regions agricultural production.

The region became known as the breadbasket of Rome. The city continued to prosper under Byzantine rule, however declined in the Islamic period.

Dougga has been described as the best-preserved small Roman town in North Africa and one of the contributing factors to its preservation is that families continued to live among the archaeological site ruins until 1961. Most of the inhabitants were relocated to a new village, Dougga-al-Jadida.

The archaeological site of the ancient town covers around 75 Hectares, and within its borders are fine preserved examples and remnants of life in antiquity.

Highlights include the impressive town centre (capitol, forum, market, square), there is a very impressive and well-preserved theatre, public baths, and even a brothel.

All images, text and content on this website are copyright Steven Sklifas.

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