Carthage in Tunisia

Friday, 28 January 2022 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Museums, Exhibitions, UNESCO World Heritage, Union for the Mediterranean
Reading Time:  4 minutes

Reconstruction of Punic Carthage © flickr.com - damian entwistle/cc-by-sa-2.0

Reconstruction of Punic Carthage © flickr.com – damian entwistle/cc-by-sa-2.0

Carthage was the capital city of the ancient Carthaginian civilization, on the eastern side of the Lake of Tunis in what is now Tunisia. Carthage was one of the most important trading hubs of the Ancient Mediterranean and one of the most affluent cities of the classical world. Today Carthage is a posh villa suburb of Tunis, the location of the largest university in the country and the location of the Tunisian presidential palace. The Carthage excavations are one of the most important tourist attractions in Tunisia. Most tour operators offer day trips from the seaside resorts on the Mediterranean coast to Tunis, Carthage and Sidi Bou Said.

The city developed from a Phoenician colony into the capital of a Punic empire which dominated large parts of the Southwest Mediterranean during the first millennium BC. The legendary Queen Alyssa or Dido is regarded as the founder of the city, though her historicity has been questioned. According to accounts by Timaeus of Tauromenium, she purchased from a local tribe the amount of land that could be covered by an oxhide.

Carthage archaeological site © R.maabid/cc-by-sa-4.0 Carthage National Museum © flickr.com - nonanet/cc-by-sa-2.0 Carthage ruines © Calips/cc-by-2.5 Antoninus Pius Thermes © BishkekRocks Map of Rome and Carthage at the start of the Second Punic War © Grandiose/cc-by-sa-3.0 Reconstruction of Punic Carthage © flickr.com - damian entwistle/cc-by-sa-2.0
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Map of Rome and Carthage at the start of the Second Punic War © Grandiose/cc-by-sa-3.0
The ancient city was destroyed by the Roman Republic in the Third Punic War in 146 BC and then re-developed as Roman Carthage, which became the major city of the Roman Empire in the province of Africa. The city was sacked and destroyed by Umayyad forces after the Battle of Carthage in 698 to prevent it from being reconquered by the Byzantine Empire. It remained occupied during the Muslim period and was used as a fort by the Muslims until the Hafsid period when it was taken by the Crusaders with its inhabitants massacred during the Eighth Crusade. The Hafsids decided to destroy its defenses so it could not be used as a base by a hostile power again. It also continued to function as an episcopal see.

The regional power had shifted to Kairouan and the Medina of Tunis in the medieval period, until the early 20th century, when it began to develop into a coastal suburb of Tunis, incorporated as Carthage municipality in 1919. The archaeological site was first surveyed in 1830, by Danish consul Christian Tuxen Falbe. Excavations were performed in the second half of the 19th century by Charles Ernest Beulé and by Alfred Louis Delattre. The Carthage National Museum was founded in 1875 by Cardinal Charles Lavigerie. Excavations performed by French archaeologists in the 1920s first attracted an extraordinary amount of attention because of the evidence they produced for child sacrifice. There has been considerable disagreement among scholars concerning whether child sacrifice was practiced by ancient Carthage. The open-air Carthage Paleo-Christian Museum has exhibits excavated under the auspices of UNESCO from 1975 to 1984. The site of the ruins is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Read more on Wikivoyage Carthage, Wikipedia History of Carthage and Wikipedia Carthage (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.








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