Dougga Things to Do

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Best Rated Things to Do in Dougga

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    12 seats latrines !

    by JLBG Written Jan 9, 2005

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    The Roman invented the latrines but they used it in a way that would surprise most of us. Here are public latrines, the 12 seats model ! Latrines were the place where citizen came mainly to gossip, exchange the news, and eventually do what we would have thought they came for.

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    Close-up on the latrines

    by JLBG Written Jan 9, 2005

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    Let's be technical ! The solid and liquids matters fell in a large cistern standing under he building. In front, a channel allowed easy cleaning of what might have fallen outside the cistern. From time to time, when the cistern was full, the content was pumped and used as a fertilizer for the crops. That was organic food !

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    One of the best preserved theaters

    by JLBG Written Jan 9, 2005

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    The theater of Dougga is one of the best preserved of Roman Africa. Moreover, it has been in permanent repair for the last 50 years. These repairs allow it not only to stand as a testimony of the genius of the Romans as builders but also to work as an actual theater.

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    The columns

    by JLBG Written Jan 9, 2005

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    This part of the theater, with its columns, has not been subjected to any repair, except for security reasons, in order to avoid any stone to fall inadvertently on visitors ! On the contrary, the scene has been completely rebuild with the original stones and using the same techniques as the Romans used, in order to allow an actual use as a scene.

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    Dougga festival

    by JLBG Written Jan 9, 2005

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    The theater has been undergoing repairs for decades. If you compare this picture with some of the previous ones, taken about 5 years earlier, you can notice that the lowest tiers have been rebuilt. I guess that more has now been done. In July and August, during the Dougga Festival, classical dramas are performed in the theater and day trips are organized from Tunis.

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    The Forum

    by JLBG Written Jan 9, 2005

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    By the side of the Capitol, what remains of the forum is still impressive. Most columns are still standing though most are half broken but that is enough to give a good feeling of what it looked like when it was the center of every day's life in Dugga.

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    Towards the Arch of Septimus Severus

    by JLBG Written Jan 9, 2005

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    This is one of the main streets in the city. The pavement has polished by the passer bys along the centuries. It leads down to the Arch of Septimus Severus (not shown). On the right, behind the Cyclops Baths, an amazing small building, on a square pattern. What is that ? Let us have a closer look !

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    Roman or modern washbasin ?

    by JLBG Written Jan 9, 2005

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    At the entrance of the latrine, a stone washbasin is standing, awaiting for visitors to wash their hands (when going IN or OUT ? I hope it was in AND out). If it were to be polished, its style would fit perfectly in many modern bathrooms ! Isn't that amazing ?

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    Temple of Caelestis

    by JLBG Written Jan 9, 2005

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    There remain most of the columns from the temple of Caelestis, heir of Tanit, the major goddess of Carthage. It seems that the temple of Caelestis was later alloted by the Romans to Junon or better Caelestis and Junon were considered as two names for the same goddess..

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    The Capitol

    by JLBG Written Jan 9, 2005

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    The Capitol was built between 166 and 169 AD and dedicated to Jupiter, Juno and Minerva. It consists of a 13x14 m cella, which housed a 6,5 m. marble statue of Jupiter and two statues, of Juno and Minerva, preceded by a portico (6 fluted Corinthian columns, 4 of them across the front) leading to a monumental flight of steps with a right angle turn.

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    In front of the Capitol

    by JLBG Written Jan 9, 2005

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    In front of the Capitol is an esplanade that links the "Compass of the winds" square to the forum (39x24m) enclosed by Corinthian portico.
    In the foreground, temple to an Unknown God. No evidence has been found to identify which god was worshipped there.

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    An audience of 3,500 in the theater

    by JLBG Written Jan 9, 2005

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    The theater of Dougga could accommodate an audience of 3,500 which means that it is not one of the largest of Roman Africa but there are 2 theaters in Dougga and the city had never more than 5,000 inhabitants, which explains its modest size.

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    An access into the theater

    by JLBG Written Jan 9, 2005

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    This picture was taken from the center of the theater. It shows one of the two central stair-cases that allowed to reach the tiers. The lower entrance is flanked with engraved stones. The upper entrance, though in poor condition is still standing.

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    Visit the ruins

    by aemilys Written Oct 10, 2005

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    If you go off season you may be lucky enough to have the place to yourselves like we did. Aside from the pesky guides that is. Just give them some money and they'll go away. Alternatively if you are in a big group you can split up into small groups and try to outwit them. Good luck

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    History

    by Willettsworld Written Aug 29, 2008

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    The choice of site, on a steeply sloping hillside (hence the town's name, from tukka, a sheer rock), suggests that this, like Sicca Veneria (Le Kef) and Bulla Regia, was a Numidian foundation. In the 2nd century B.C. the settlement was enlarged by the Numidian king Masinissa to form a royal residence. The remains of megalithic walls, a temple of Baal, dolmen tombs and a Numidian mausoleum date from this period.

    Around 105 B.C. the first Romans settled round the town, which according to the Greek historian Diodorus Siculus (1st century B.C.) was already "large and handsome". In 46 B.C. Caesar incorporated the town in the province of Africa Nova. The Numidian settlement on the hill remained, while the Romans settled in the plain below. In the course of time the two settlements amalgamated and in A.D. 205 the town was raised to the status of a municipium and all its free citizens were granted Roman citizenship. In 261, when Thugga was renamed Colonia Licinia, the city was at the peak of its development. From this period date most of its magnificent public buildings, financed by wealthy Roman landowners, as well as the many private houses of which remains survive. It was during this period that the town prospered with around 5000 residents.

    Decline set in at the end of the 3rd century. Under Byzantine rule the town was fortified, using stone from ancient buildings but was later abandoned. Later still, refugees from Andalusia settled in the area and re-established the cultivation of olives.

    The site was rediscovered in the 17th century and people continued to live among the ruins until the early 1950's when they were moved to nearby Nouvelle Dougga (New Dougga). Excavation began in 1899 and is still continuing as, when I was there, a few places were being excavated and rebuilt. It was granted a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1997.

    The Capitole and Forum A Roman road The 5,000 seat theatre Temple of Saturn Arch of Alexander Severus
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Dougga Things to Do

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