Section of the ruins of the city of Thuburbo Maius, Tunisia.

The History and Photogenic Ruins of the Forgotten City of Thuburbo Maius

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The abandoned and ruined Temple of Juno Caelestis, Thuburbo Maius, Tunisia.

The abandoned and ruined Temple of Juno Caelestis, Thuburbo Maius, Tunisia. ( CC BY SA 2.5 )

Excavations at the Farm with Ruins

During the 19th century, the area was called Henchir al-Kasbat, meaning ‘farm with ruins’. A French diplomat who visited the ruins in 1857 came to the conclusion that this was the site of Thuburbo Maius.

The first excavations of the site were carried out during the early 20th century. These excavations have provided some fascinating insights about the city. For instance, unlike most Roman cities, Thuburbo Maius lacked straight streets.

Plan of the ruins at Thuburbo Maius, Tunisia

Plan of the ruins at Thuburbo Maius, Tunisia. ( CC BY SA 3.0 ) Note that Thuburbo Maius did not have straight streets despite years of Roman ruling.

It is commonly believed that this was due to the fact that the existing Punic town was retained, rather than demolished to make way for the new Roman settlement. The excavations also revealed features such as the Forum, the Capitolium, and several large houses which were decorated with mosaics. Thus, the forgotten city of Thuburbo Maius has maintained many interesting features from history over the years.

The ruins of the Capitolium in Thuburbo Maius, Tunisia.

The ruins of the Capitolium in Thuburbo Maius, Tunisia. ( CC BY SA 2.5 )

Featured image: Section of the ruins of the city of Thuburbo Maius, Tunisia. ( CC BY SA 2.5 )

By: Ḏḥwty

References

Davies, E., 2009. North Africa: The Roman Coast. Buckinghamshire: Bradt Travel Guides Ltd.

Kjeilen, T., 2015. Thuburbo Majus. [Online]
Available at: http://lexicorient.com/tunisia/thuburbo_majus.htm

Lendering, J., 2015. Carthage. [Online]
Available at: http://www.livius.org/articles/place/carthage/

Mark, J. J., 2011. Carthage. [Online]
Available at: http://www.ancient.eu/carthage/

Pétridès, S., 1912. Thuburbo Minus. [Online]
Available at: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14709b.htm

Piperno, R., 2012. Thuburbo Majus. [Online]
Available at: http://romeartlover.tripod.com/Thuburbo.html

Stillwell, R., MacDonald, W. L. & McAlister, M. H., 1976. The Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites: Thuburbo Maius (Henchir Kasbat) Tunisia.. [Online]
Available at: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus:text:1999.04.0006:entry=thuburbo-maius

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