Sites & cities that bear the name of Dougga


Today in : Tunisia
First trace of activity : ca. 6th century B.C.E
Last trace of activity : ca. 9th century C.E
Recorded names : Tokaï?, 𐤕𐤁‬𐤂‬𐤂‬, TBGG, 𐤕𐤁‬𐤂𐤏‬𐤂, TBGʿG, Thugga, Municipium Septimium Aurelium Liberum Thugga, Colonia Licinia Septimia Aurelia Alexandriana Thuggensis, Dugga, Tugga, Doggā, دڨة‎, دقة

Description : Dougga or Thugga or TBGG was a Berber, Punic and Roman settlement near present-day Téboursouk in northern Tunisia. The current archaeological site covers 65 hectares (160 acres). UNESCO qualified Dougga as a World Heritage Site in 1997, believing that it represents "the best-preserved Roman small town in North Africa". The site, which lies in the middle of the countryside, has been protected from the encroachment of modern urbanization, in contrast, for example, to Carthage, which has been pillaged and rebuilt on numerous occasions. Dougga's size, its well-preserved monuments and its rich Numidian-Berber, Punic, ancient Roman and Byzantine history make it exceptional. Amongst the most famous monuments at the site are a Libyco-Punic Mausoleum, the Capitol, the Roman theatre, and the temples of Saturn and of Juno Caelestis. Dougga's history is best known from the time of the Roman conquest, even though numerous pre-Roman monuments, including a necropolis, a mausoleum, and several temples have been discovered during archaeological digs. These monuments are an indication of the site's importance before the arrival of the Romans. Berber Kingdom The city appears to have been founded in the 6th century BC. Some historians believe that Dougga is the city of Tocae (Greek: Τοκαί, Tokaí), which was captured by a lieutenant of Agathocles of Syracuse at the end of the 4th century BC; Diodorus of Sicily described Tocae as "a city of beautiful grandeur". Dougga was in any case an early and important human settlement. Its urban character is evidenced by the presence of a necropolis with dolmens, the most ancient archaeological find at Dougga, a sanctuary dedicated to Ba'al Hammon, neo-Punic steles, a mausoleum, architectural fragments, and a temple dedicated to Masinissa, the remains of which were found during archaeological excavations. Even though our knowledge of the city before the Roman conquest remains very limited, recent archaeological finds have revolutionized the image that we had of this period. The identification of the temple dedicated to Masinissa beneath the forum disproved Louis Poinssot's theory that the Numidian city stood on the plateau but that it was separate from the newer Roman settlement. The temple, which was erected in the tenth year of Micipsa's reign (139 BC), is 14 m × 6.3 m (46 ft × 21 ft) wide. It proves that the area around the forum was already built upon before the arrival of the Roman colonists. A building dating to the 2nd century BC has also been discovered nearby. Similarly, Dougga's mausoleum is not isolated but stands within an urban necropolis. Recent finds have disproved earlier theories about the so-called "Numidian walls". The walls around Dougga are in fact not Numidian; they are part of the city's fortifications erected in late antiquity. Targeted digs have also proven that what had been interpreted as two Numidian towers in the walls are in fact two funeral monuments from the Numidian era reused much later as foundations and a section of defences. The discovery of Libyan and Punic inscriptions at the site provoked a debate on the administration of the city at the time of the Kingdom of Numidia. The debate—about the interpretation of epigraphic sources—focussed on the question of whether the city was still under Punic influence or whether it was increasingly Berber. Local Berber institutions distinct from any form of Punic authority arose from the Numidian period onwards, but Camps notes that Punic shofets were still in place in several cities, including Dougga, during the Roman era, which is a sign of continuing Punic influence and the preservation of certain elements of Punic civilization well after the fall of Carthage.

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