Posted by Vi Warkentin on
Dougga is spread over 65 hectres on steep, sloping terrain. The ruins remaining bring to life the everyday life of its inhabitants - their shops, baths, latrines, and gymnasiums. Even the grooves in the stone streets are testament to the chariot wheels that once travelled here.
This site was rediscovered in the 17th century and people lived here among the ruins until the 1950’s at which time they were moved out to the nearby town of Nouvelle Dougga (New Dougga).
Below are the ruins of the Dar el Acheb - one of the largest houses in Dougga. Although its purpose is unknown, it may have been a temple or even a wealthy family mansion.
The Licinian Baths have much of its original walls still intact. These baths were donated by the Licinii family to the city in the 3rd century and they were primarily used as winter baths.
A few mosaics remain among the ruins of Dougga.
Few statues remain at Dougga, many having been taken to the Bardo Museum in Tunis. Here are a few headless statues.
The gorgeous countryside as viewed from Dougga.
I have to admit that when I first saw the landscape stretching beyond the ruins of Dougga, I felt like I could be in the Italian countryside somewhere. It was so beautiful. Herds of sheep were grazing in the shade offered up by the groves of olive trees.
The Punic Mausoleum of Ateban rises up among the olive trees and dates back to 3rd century BC. It is the only surviving Numidian/Punic structure in Tunisia. It stands just under 70 feet high and draws on influences from both Greece and Egypt. The mausoleum was almost completely destroyed in 1842 after a British consul in Tunis removed the stone of bilingual inscription on which it all rested. It was later rebuilt by a French archeologist in 1910. That bilingual inscription is now housed in the British Museum.
And with one last glance out across the pastoral countryside and a final glance over my shoulder to amazing, ancient ruins , I bid goodbye to Dougga.