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Photographer's Note

Thuburbo Majus is an ancient Roman town located some 60 km SW from Tunis.

A common theory is that when the Romans started to build it in 27 BC as a veteran's colony, an existing Punic town was already here, and it was not sacrificed for the new developments. Before Thuburbo Majus became a municipality in 128, it was burned with heavy taxes. After this it got much control with its own income, increasing the town's wealth. Great buildings came as a result. The main sources of income were oil, wheat and wine.
Most great buildings date back to the 2nd century, but much of you see is still from the end of the 4th century, when reconstruction was performed after some decades of neglect.
Streets were often narrow, winding, and houses had few 90 degree angles. Even the two baths in this minor town, had irregular shapes. The remaining quarters is in an area of a modest 250 times 300 metres, but triumphal arches stand further apart, so the total town was several times bigger than that. Still Thuburbo Majus was never a large settlement, perhaps housing some 7,000 to 12,000 people.
Thuburbo Majus is still very much worth the visit, with its attractive Capitol, its several fine mosaic floors and the striking colours of its columns.

The structure in the foreground is one of the most attractive structures at Thuburbo Majus - the Palaestra of Petronii. It dates back to 225 AC, being one of the later additions to the town during its heyday.
The grounds were the gymnastics area, the place to perform the noble arts of wrestling and boxing. Its location is next to the Summer Baths.

The arch in the background belonged to the Temple of Caelestis, originally the Carthaginian goddess Tanit, of which very little remained until today.

source: Adventures of Tunisia

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Additional Photos by Michal Grabowski (cedryk) Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 13 W: 0 N: 13] (107)
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