Carthage and its region. Landscape development from the Roman period through Late Antiquity
"Carthage and its region. Landscape development from the Roman period through Late Antiquity" by Ralf Bockmann and Hamden Ben Romdhane
Carthage was among the largest urban centres of the Roman and late antique Mediterranean. It had always had an intense and multi-levelled relationship with its ‚hinterland‘, the territory on which it depended directly for many food commodities and various resources. In a German-Tunisian cooperation between the DAI Rome and the INP Tunis, a project was initiated in 2018 in collaboration with the University of Tübingen to study the development of the landscape in Carthage’s territory in more detail. The main research interests of the project were to reconstruct how the large-scale agricultural exploration was organised physically, and which resources specifically were used in the territory around the Oued Miliane, one of the major river connections of what is today northern Tunisia, limited to the south by the Djebel Zaghouan mountains that included sources that were especially important for Carthage‘s water supply. In this paper, we will present the first results from the exemplary study of sites in this region in a diachronic perspective.
Dr. Ralf Bockmann is an archaeologist with a specialisation on Late Antiquity. His work has concentrated on North Africa, where he has co-directed several fieldwork projects in Carthage and the governerate of Zaghouan, at Abbir Cella and Jougar, as well as a landscape studies project in Libyan Tripolitania. His work is interdisciplinary, using a wide variety of fieldwork and analysis methodologies, following a wide chronological range to understand changes in settlement topographies, use of landscape and social and economic organisation. He is particularly interested in urbanism, Christian architecture and religion as social phenomenon, mainly in the late antique and Byzantine Western Mediterranean. A second interest is in visual studies, particularly the history of the use of photography in archaeology and visual representations of various aspects of social status and positions in Antiquity. Ralf Bockmann has directed the Photo Library and Archive of the German Archaeological Institute in Rome between 2014 and 2022, when he was also responsible for the North Africa projects of the institute. In addition, he has held positions at the State Office for Heritage Management and Archaeology Saxony-Anhalt and the Ethnological Museum Hamburg, today MARKK, as well as several prestigious fellowships in Europe and the US.
Dr. Hamden Ben Romdhane is an ancient historian with a particular focus on epigraphy and archaeology of Roman and Late Antique Africa Proconsularis. Since 2013 he is Chargé de recherche and since 2015 Chef de la section des sites et des monuments romains et byzantins at the Institut National du Patrimoine (INP) in Tunis. From 2012–2014 he was main conservateur of the site and the museum at Carthage and from 2006 he is conservateur of the archaeological sites of the Zaghouan district, in Northwestern Tunisia. Hamden Ben Romdhane has participated at several field projects, mainly in Tunisia (Thysdrus, Pheradi Maius, Iunca, Zaghouan, Thibaris) and since 2015 he co-directs several international fieldwork projects in Northwestern Tunisia (Carthage and surroundings, Abbir Cella, Jouggar, Abthugnos, Biia, Avioccala, Agger, Hr. Ourazla, Hr. Tella, Zaghouan) taught at the Institut supérieur des Métiers du Patrimoine (Tunis), at the Universities of Manouba (Tunis), Sousse and Kairouan. He has extensively edited newly found inscriptions, and published many articles on civic administration, topography and monumental development of Roman and Late Antique North African sites.