Tunisia - The Punic Wars
October 16 - 24, 2014
Dr Neil Faulkner, a widely-published Roman scholar leads this tour which includes some of the finest Roman sites anywhere in the Mediterranean – places anyone with an interest in archaeology should see: the theatre at Dougga, amphitheatre at El Djem not to mention peerless mosaics – intricate and alive with details – at the newly re-opened Sousse and Bardo museums.
Study Leader Information
Dr Neil Faulkner is a Research Fellow at Bristol University and a specialist in Roman, Anglo-Saxon, and First World War archaeology. He is involved in fieldwork projects in Norfolk, Jordan, and Slovenia. Neil is interested in processes of long-term change, and researches the relationships between humans, landscapes, and material culture in social transformations. He also works as a historian with a special interest in revolution and war, a role that includes editorship of Military History Monthly. He is a regular contributor to TV documentaries in the UK. His recent publications include Rome: Empire of the Eagles.
Arrive Tunis and drive to hotel.
Begin with a visit to one of the best collections of Roman mosaics in the world: the Bardo Museum, housed in a former Royal Palace. Afternoon in Carthage; explore the Byrsa Hill, Then examine the foundation levels of the enormous Roman Antonine Baths which still dominate the seafront by the former Presidential Palace
Begin the day at Nabeul, Roman Neapolis, in the Cap Bon peninsula, which has a small museum with some very fine mosaics. Continue to the ruinous town of Kerkouane, the only Phoenician settlement so far found in Tunisia which was not built over in Roman times. This is one of the most fertile regions of Tunisia, and the drive is particularly beautiful. We also see the stone quarries at El Harouaria.
One of the highlights of our tour is the site of Dougga, possibly the most famous site in Roman Tunisia, which stands majestically against a steep hillside, with sweeping views out over the surrounding countryside. The capitol is one of the most aesthetically pleasing ruins in the world, and many of the houses still have mosaics in situ.
Explore the unique Roman town of Bulla Regia, where the houses have major rooms underground, some of them still with their beautiful figurative mosaic floors. With walls and ceilings still complete, you experience a sense of the space used by the Roman occupants to get away from the heat of the African sun. Continue to the Roman settlement at Chemtou, and the famous red marble quarries.
Across the plains to Thuburbo Maius, a Roman city lying untouched amid the fields, in a plain surrounded by distant hills and mountains - a particularly beautiful setting.
The Sousse Museum, full of wonderful mosaics, only very recently reopened after being extensively refurbished. Afternoon on foot in Kairouan, exploring the town’s historic Medina.
The spectacular amphitheater at El Djem, one of the largest in the Roman world. The site museum of Roman Thysdrus at El Djem has an exceptional collection of mosaics, which reflect the wealth and the concerns, of the townspeople who commissioned them.
Drive back to Tunis via the Aqueduct which carried water 56 miles from Zaghouan to Carthage. This is the most spectacular and interesting stretch where it is carried on arches over the valley of the Oued Meliane. Transfer to airport for flights home or onwards
Please email National Trust Tours for questions about this program. Be sure to include your mailing address if you are requesting a paper copy of the brochure for this program.