The last mosaic represents a brown bear. There are 23 Roman mosaics in Northern Africa that represent a bear, sometimes called the “Atlas bear”. However all the specialist do not agree on the presence of wild bears in Northern Africa at the Roman period, though fossils show that they have been present in remote times. The question remains open...more
This picture is a close-up on another part of the mosaic showing a large fish which might be a Dusky grouper or Black grouper (Epinephelus guaza or Mycteroperca spp), Mérou in French, in Arab it is known as mennani ahmar or merot. It is surrounded by various shells and in the top right, there is an urchin. At the bottom of the picture, a large eel.more
In the house of the Fishing, a mosaic presents two Cupids, each riding a dolphin in a sea rich with fishes of all kind. The Cupid on the right seems to be holding a large pan, may be to cook fried fish for dinner ! Is he going first to knock them down with the pan ?? Not a regular way of fishing !more
The close-up on Venus shows well how the small pieces of colored and polished stones were delicately arranged to render the feeling of volume and all the smoothness of the curves of the body. They are all arranged in files underlining the movements of the body. On the arms, they follow the length of the arm. On the chest, they are arranged...more
In the house of Amphitrite a superb mosaic represents Venus sitting on the back of a Centaur (a mythic creature build as a horse with a human torso) that holds a shell. In the background, the human figure with crab claws on his forehead, crab legs on his cheeks and crab antennas over his forehead might be Neptune, the God of the Seas.Click on the...more
The semi-circle sitting rows ý an indispensable characteristic of the theatre - are probably the thing in the best condition of all the performance in Bulla Regia. The lower three rows were for the most noble and rich folk, providing a kind of dress-circle seating. In fact, they are wider than the others, and separated by (what then was) a low wall...more
Many Asian and African countries, including Egypt, are predominantly Muslim, so the religious sites you are most likely to encounter, are, predictably, mosques. This is a brief tip of advice, written from the point of view of a non-Muslim, female traveler (yours truly!!!):
- Do dress modestly, covering arms, legs, shoulders and the like, no frivolous dressing will be allowed. Hire the modest dress if needed;
- Check whether you are allowed into the mosque at all, since most of them admit you only into the courtyard, and some do not admit non-Muslims at all. However, in several countries you may be able to visit the interiors of many mosques;
- Respect the boundaries laid and do not attempt to enter further (I saw such a thing once, and it did arouse ill-feeling);
- If possible try to avoid going even to the courtyard on Friday afternoon, since I remember this is the most important praying time of the week;
- If you are curious, feel free to ask questions (though not of people hurrying to pray) and most likely you will be answered: I’ve always found people proud of their culture and heritage and ready to explain it;
- Do not criticize things we in Europe and in the West might (such as separate praying space for men and women), for such are the customs of the land and mosques are the least appropriate places for such topics.
This advice is based only on common sense, but it allowed me to see something of the mosques and learn loads of interesting info on Muslim countries, their religion, and culture. Really helped me when we had a general education class on religions at University:))
Travels to places like Tunisia involves a lot of fighting the heat, especially if you, like me (I am still surprised as to why I did that), go there right in the middle of the summer. Here’s a list of useful items to take:
- Hats and other covering: Large brimmed hats that provide head covering and some shade. For women, they are also a proof of modesty, welcomed when visiting old churches and mosques. Scarves and the like covering shoulders and arms can keep the sun off during treks. A cloth hat or scarf can be soaked to help keep the head cool.
- "Squeeze Breeze": this is a water bottle with a sprayer and a battery-operated fan attached. The beach toy to take with you!
- Sun block: While sun blocks may be purchased in Tunisia, people tend to prefer sticking with their own favourite brand (the skin, too, ‘gets used’ to it), and there’s not guarantee you’ll find it on the spot. So take your own, if you have preferences!
That might seem strange, since Isis was an Egyptian goddess, to find a temple dedicated to her in a Roman Tunisian city. In fact, she was quite a popular addition of the locals to the Roman pantheon of gods they took for their own. The temple if just south-west of the theatre, and nowadays there are only some ruins left of it, in a shabbier state than the theatre, and certainly than the theatre’s sitting arrangements.