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Dougga / Thugga

Dougga / Thugga

Before the Roman annexation of Numidia, the town of Thugga, built on an elevated site overlooking a fertile plain, was the capital of an important Libyco-Punic state. It flourished under Roman and Byzantine rule, but declined in the Islamic period. The impressive ruins that are visible today give some idea of the resources of a small Roman town on the fringes of the empire.

Dougga / Thugga

Avant l'annexion romaine de la Numidie, la ville de Thugga, construite sur une colline surplombant une plaine fertile, a été la capitale d'un État libyco-punique. Elle a prospéré sous la domination romaine et byzantine mais a décliné au cours de la période islamique. Les ruines visibles aujourd'hui témoignent de manière imposante des ressources d'une petite ville romaine aux frontières de l'Empire.


قبل قيام الامبراطورية الرومانية بضم نوميدية، شكلت مدينة دقّة التي تعلو تلة مشرفة على سهل خصب عاصمة لدولة ليبية بونيقية. وقد ازدهرت تحت حكم الرومان والبيزنطيين. وتشهد آثارها المتبقية بطريقة واضحة على موارد مدينة رومانية صغيرة قامت على حدود الامبراطورية.

source: UNESCO/ERI



source: UNESCO/ERI

Древний город Дугга (Тугга)

До аннексии Нумидии древними римлянами, город Тугга, заложенный на возвышенном месте в окружении плодородных равнин, был столицей мощного ливийско-пунического государства. Затем он процветал под властью Древнего Рима и Византии, но в исламский период пришел в упадок. Впечатляющие руины, которые можно наблюдать сегодня, дают представление о процветании небольшого древнеримского города, располагавшегося на окраине империи.

source: UNESCO/ERI

Duga / Thuga

Construida sobre una colina que domina una fértil llanura, la ciudad de Thuga fue la capital de un Estado libio-púnico antes de la anexión romana de la Numidia. Prosperó bajo la dominación romana y bizantina, pero declinó durante el periodo islámico. Sus imponentes ruinas, visibles hoy en día, permiten hacerse una idea de los recursos de que disponía una pequeña ciudad romana situada en las fronteras del Imperio.

source: UNESCO/ERI


source: NFUAJ

Dougga / Thugga

De archeologische plek van Dougga / Thugga ligt in het Noord-Westen van Tunesië, op de 571 meter hoge heuveltop die de vruchtbare vallei van Oued Khalled domineert. Voor de Romeinse annexatie van Numidië was de stad Thugga de hoofdstad van een belangrijke Libyco-Punische staat. De stad bloeide onder Romeinse en Byzantijnse heerschappij, maar raakte in de islamitische periode in verval. Het archeologische gebied heeft een oppervlakte van ongeveer 75 hectare. De indrukwekkende ruïnes zijn nog altijd te bewonderen. Ze geven een indruk van de capaciteiten van een kleine Romeinse stad en illustreren een geschiedenis die zeventien eeuwen duurde.

Source: unesco.nl

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Dougga / Thugga (Tunisia) © Editions Gelbart
Outstanding Universal Value

Brief synthesis

The archaeological site of Thugga/Dougga is located in the North-west region of Tunisia, perched on the summit of a hill at an altitude of 571 m, dominating the fertile valley of Oued Khalled. Before the Roman annexation of Numidia, Thugga had existed for more than six centuries and was, probably, the first capital of the Numidian kingdom. It flourished under Roman rule but declined during the Byzantine and Islamic periods. The impressive ruins which are visible today give an idea of the resources of a Romanised Numidian town.

The archaeological site covers an area of approximately 75 ha. These ruins of a complete city with all its components are a testimony to more than 17 centuries of history. They are an outstanding example illustrating the synthesis between different cultures: Numidian, Punic, Hellenistic, and Roman. The Roman monuments were integrated within the urban fabric, essentially Numidian. Despite its relative unimportance in the administrative structure of the Roman province of Africa, Dougga possesses a remarkable group of public buildings, dating for the most part from the 2nd and 3rd centuries A.D. Dougga is considered the best preserved example of an Africo-Roman town in North Africa. As such, it is an exceptional illustration of what daily life was like in Antiquity.

Criterion (ii): The site of Dougga is an outstanding example of the birth, development and history of an indigenous city since the second millennium BC. The site of Dougga conserves the complete ruins of an antique city with all its components and provides the best known example of town layout of an indigenous foundation, adapted to town planning on the Roman model.

Criterion (iii): The important epigraphic collection (over 2000 Libyan, Punic, bilingual, Greek and above all Latin inscriptions) has made a decisive contribution to the decipherment of the Libyan language and knowledge of the social and municipal life of the Numidians, testifying to the level of development attained by the city during the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC.

Over approximately two and a half centuries, two legally distinct communities, one comprising an indigenous population and the other a community of settlers who were Roman citizens, coexisted in the same town and on the same territory. They both equally participated in the development and flourishing of the city.

Whilst retaining its largely Numidian urban fabric, Thugga therefore took on the aspect of a Roman monumental city. In this respect, it constitutes a representative example of a Maghreb city under the Numidian kings and during the first centuries of the Roman Empire.

In comparison to similar sites in North Africa, the ruins of the Roman and pre-Roman city of Thugga are surprisingly complete and well preserved. Consequently, they illustrate in an exceptional manner what daily life was like in a small provincial town during the Roman period.

Integrity (2009)

Within its boundaries, the archaeological site of Dougga conserves, in its entirety, the vestiges of the different periods of the Antique city with all its components: the monumental centre (capitol, forum, market, Rose of the winds square, etc.), entertainment buildings (theatre, circus) and public baths, clearly reflecting the way an indigenous foundation evolved during the Roman period

Authenticity (2009)

The state of conservation of these monuments is also exceptional. The level of authenticity of the archaeological remains is very high and has not been affected by restoration activities and conservation interventions over the past century because they have been minimal and were carried out in conformity with the principles of the 1964 Venice Charter. However, there are some exceptions. The authenticity of the Libyco-Punic mausoleum reconstructed between 1908 and 1910 has long remained subject of debate (although it might be argued that this monument has retained its own historicity).

Protection and management requirements (2009)

In addition to the many monuments benefiting from a specific listing as historic monuments, the archaeological site of Dougga is protected by Law 35-1994 of 24 February 1994 concerning the protection of archaeological and historical heritage and traditional arts (Heritage Code), as well as by Law 83-87 of 11 November 1983 concerning the protection of agricultural land, modified and completed by Law 90-45 of 23 April 1990 and by Law 96-104 of 25 November 1996.

A proposal for the boundary of the site of Dougga was submitted to the National Heritage Commission for the creation of the Cultural site of Dougga and its landscape. The study for the development of the Protection and Enhancement Plan (PPMV) for the site, as defined by the Heritage Code, was completed. This legal tool shall enable the control of all interventions undertaken at the site and in the surrounding buffer zone of 200 m. In addition to prohibited activities or those only authorised under certain conditions, it defines the different implementation mechanisms. The PPMV is the management tool that guarantees the preservation of the archaeological site of Dougga and enables the control of all eventual modifications in its immediate environment.