Excursion to Duggu in Tunis
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Excursion to Duggu is an opportunity to see the classical antique Roman city with all its obligatory attributes. Here are preserved: forum and capitol, amphitheater, baths, villas and temples. Would the city of Dugga be 100 kilometers closer to the main resorts of Tunisia , perhaps, would argue with Carthage for the leadership in the attendance of tourists.
The place is very interesting, but in Tunisia there is another similar archaeological site - excavations of the city of Udna .
Which is better: Dugga or Udna?
This is an important issue, as an ordinary tourist does not make much sense to visit both places of excavation. The composition of buildings and attractions in Udne and Dugge is approximately the same, the difference is only in the degree of safety of some buildings.
In our opinion, Udna is much more interesting. Firstly, there is preserved a large classical Roman amphitheater of oval form, and in Dugga the amphitheater is small and semicircular. Of course, if you want to see the largest arena for gladiatorial fights in Tunisia, then you need to go to El Jem , but there's nothing else there but a large amphitheater.
Secondly, in Udne the capitol is better preserved with all internal premises. Thirdly, in Udne you can see more Roman mosaics, amphoras and other artifacts. In some moments, Dugga is more interesting, there is a whole forum (the central square of the city) here, and in Udne the forum has not "survived" to the present day.
In Dougga, you can see the buildings that were erected here under Carthage. This "exclusive", since the Romans almost completely destroyed the Carthaginian culture, and such buildings can only be seen here. However, for ordinary tourists they do not produce a serious impression.
Another important difference, in Udnu, you can theoretically get yourself. It is possible to arrive by train , although it is long and tedious. You can take a taxi , although it's expensive. With Dougga, the situation is much more sad.
How to get to the excavation of the city of Dugga
The easiest way is to go on an organized excursion. The price of the trip varies from 55 to 80 US dollars. The excursion takes a whole day, and tourists take another second sight, most often it's Zaguan. The price includes lunch.
Public transport to Duggu does not go. You can take a taxi, but the amount to pay will be astronomical. From the resort of Hammamet to Duggy 160 kilometers from the resort Suss 190 kilometers. Way back and forth by taxi and waiting for the driver will cost 300-400 Tunisian dinars . This is in any case more expensive than buying an excursion.
It is possible to reach by car. From the resort cities you need to get to the city of Tunis. From the city of Tunisia, you need to drive along the P5 highway about 120 kilometers.
History of the city of Dougga in brief
There is controversy over the ownership of the city of Dugga before the conquest of the territory of modern Tunisia by the Romans. On the one hand, in the city even now you can see several Punic buildings, which we'll talk about later (a primitive example - belonging to the culture of ancient Carthage). On the other hand, it is known that the city belonged to the Numidians and was their capital under the first king Masinisse.
The Numidians at first fought on the side of Carthage against Rome. King Masinissa himself (in the picture on the left) commanded their allied forces in Spain. But he realized in time that Rome would win, and ran over to the side of the Roman commander Scipio of Africa. In the Battle of Zama, the Carthaginians were defeated, and the Numidian cavalry played a key role. Carthage lost the war.
Naturally, the Carthaginians did not forget this betrayal, and skirmishes constantly arose on the border. They could not go to war with the Numidians, since under the peace treaty Carthage could not wage wars without the approval of the Roman Senate, and the Senate did not give its consent.
In 151 BC. the patience of the rulers of Carthage dried up, and they openly protested against Numidia with the army. Rome reacted instantly, declaring war on Carthage. In 146, Carthage was completely destroyed.
It can be said that the fate of Carthage was decided precisely here - in Dougga. But this is only at first glance. Of course, the Romans were not very worried about the fate of Numidia and Duggie, but more concerned with the growing wealth and influence of Carthage.
The Numidians did not choose an ally very sensibly. Their independence lasted another 100 years and about 50 years BC. they were conquered, and Dugga became one of the central cities of the Roman province of Africa.
The important role of Duggie did not last long, since the construction of a new Roman city soon began on the site of the old Carthage. To this new Carthage took over the dominant role, and Dugga began to decline. Already in the 4th century AD, the city was almost completely emptied.
What to see on the excavations of Duggie
Amphitheatres on all excavations are most popular. Perhaps, it was only in Pompeii in Italy that the local amphitheater survived very badly and did not attract tourists.
The Duggy Theater was designed for 3,500 spectators, which can not be called an "outstanding figure." It was built in 169 AD, that is, 200 years after the conquest of Numidia by the Romans.
An interesting fact is that this amphitheater was built not on public or state money, but at the expense of a private person. They were a rich citizen of the city Publius Marcus Quadratus (please do not laugh at the name, in the time of ancient Rome, it sounded quite normal).
For Duggy, this amphitheater was quite large, as the entire population of the city modern scientists estimate from 5 to 10 thousand people.
Roman toilet - a hit among tourists
Do you know the expression "non-fly away"? Probably not.
And the expression "money does not smell"? Already familiar.
This phrase "went to the people" after the emperor Vespasian imposed a tax on public toilets. The toilet played a much more important role for the Romans than for us, and we will tell a little about it.
Roman society was very open, and in the literal sense of the word. In the houses of the Romans there was almost nowhere to retire.
Rich citizens were even worse, because they were surrounded by slaves who gladly "knocked" on their masters at the first opportunity. The Romans said: "Kuot service, that's the host," that is, "How many slaves, so many enemies."
Toilets for the Romans were one of those few places where you could talk without "extra ears". It was in public toilets that the most secret negotiations were conducted. After all, public latrines were very well soundproofed.
Now every tourist can sit in a Roman toilet and feel like a real patrician than many tourists and enjoy with pleasure.
Capitol - the center of the Roman settlement
The Capitol had many different functions in the Roman city. Here were warehouses of food in case of a siege, there were temples of the main gods, and the administration of the settlement worked.
Here were the temples of Jupiter, Juno and Minerva, which can be considered a "standard set" for the Roman colonies in Africa.
In terms of size, the Duggy Capitol can be considered modest, in Udne it is several times larger, but a pediment has been preserved at the local temple (in the photo on the left, it crowns the columns). It is believed that this pediment depicts the emperor Anthony Pius, who carries the eagle. This is how Rome saw the deification of emperors after death. Antony Pius died in 161, therefore the building was erected a few years after his death. Scientists date it to 166-167 years of our era.
Is very close. A compass is inscribed on the square and all the winds that blow in northern Africa are named. Such a structure causes some confusion, because Dugga is located 100 kilometers from the coast, and even a large river is not near. The functions of the "wind square" are still controversial. Also nearby are the ruins of the Byzantine epoch.
The forum is an area in the center of the Roman city. This is the center of the social life of the settlement. Most of the time on the forums of Roman cities markets functioned. Also at the forum was a political life and voting of citizens on various issues of city administration.
The Duggy Forum was perfectly preserved despite the fact that it was actively used by the Byzantines in the construction of the fortress as a source of building materials.
The rostrum for speeches, commissions (a place for citizens' voting) and curia (the place of a meeting of a representative assembly) have not survived to this day.
As we have already said, this is an exclusive part of the sights. You can not look at this anywhere else.
The first thing worth seeing is the dolmens. These are funerary structures that were built here, presumably 2000 years BC. They look like heaps of stones, they are easy to recognize.
The second notable building is called the "basin". It is also a funerary structure, but it was already the epoch of the Numidian rule. Bazin has a round shape, you will not confuse it with anything.
And the most famous building of the pre-Roman period of Dugia is the mausoleum of Atebana (pictured left). This tomb was intended for one of the Numidian kings. The construction is a joint work of the masters of Numidia and Carthage, as evidenced by the plate in two languages.
This famous tablet you can not see, as it was removed and taken to London as early as 1842. Now it is stored in the British Museum.
Other Places of Interest in Dougga
We will not describe everything interesting at the site of the excavations, but simply limit ourselves to enumeration. The ruins of the houses of wealthy townspeople, several baths, a brothel, the temple of the god Mercury, a temple in honor of the victory of the Emperor Caracalla over the Germans and the temples of Pluto and Saturn have been preserved on the territory.
Tips for tourists
At the excavation of Duggie, there are many attractions. To see them all, plan to spend the whole day. On the territory there is nowhere to hide from the sun. Stock up with water and do not forget the headdresses, as the weather in Tunisia in the summer is very hot.
Successful excursions, and read our articles about Tunisia ( links below ).
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