From the earliest times, Tunisia had a rich prehistory with many facets, as revealed by the results of extensive archaeological finds over many years. From the Mousterian Paleolithic period with the remains of the Capsian culture, Tunisian prehistory is illustrated by several types of evidence.
There are flint arrowheads.
The visitor will then be able to admire, not far from Hammamet, these burial vaults called “Haouanet”, kind of plane-parallel funeral rooms dug in the side of the mountains, in Sidi Latreche as example.
Later, the Berber civilization arises. These were the first inhabitants of the whole of northern Africa. Up until today, their traces have not been erased from the collective subconscious of the people. A fully fledged civilization, but also a culture of great refinement. It gives birth to kingdoms such as the Numidians, the Maessyles, and the Gétules.
From their habitations remain now some troglodyt villages. These houses, built in the top of the mountains, allowed their habitants to ensure their security against the raids.
After this first flowering of civilization, the first outside inhabitants arrived. They were the famous Phoenician traders and shrewd navigators. By crossing the Mediterranean, they end up landing at Utica, their first colony in Tunisia. This ancient Phoenician city-centre founded in 1101 BC signified the beginning of great epic in Tunisia, a history which started early with the sea faring Phoenicians, who invented the first alphabet of human history. While elsewhere people, like the early Romans, had not yet starting to write, Tunisia was already an established literate civilization.
Then it was the turn of Phoenician or as it was later called Punic Carthage. Having gained independence by force of circumstance from its mother city Tyre, she became the wealthy capital of a prosperous maritime empire. The Western Mediterranean was then centre of its commerce for several centuries. Superb and skilled, they colonized Spain. Countless remains of the ancient metropolis of Carthage are available for visitors who are eager to know about this fallen civilization, for it destruction was without doubt due to the presence of another emerging power on European side of the Mediterranean, Rome.
The Punic wars between Rome and Carthage were inevitable. They ultimately sealed the fate of the unhappy Carthage despite the efforts of Hannibal, whose historic military exploits were not sufficient to destroy his rival who ultimately claimed total control of the Mediterranean.
Unfortunate tragedy that was the fate of Punic Carthage, like its founding Queen Elyssa-Dido, as recounted in the epic poem of Virgil, whose beautiful love story was taken up by the greatest painters and orators of the Middle Ages. The archaeological discoveries in Carthage and Kerkouane stand out for visitors with visitor memorable remains of exceptional refinement: innovative urban planning, precious items such as finely crafted jewelry, or ancient sarcophagi carved in quality marble starkly recount their fallen splendor.
By annexing Carthage’s territory to the growing empire, Rome was eager for glory and military victories, irrespective of the contribution of the distinguished fallen culture upon which we rely heavily
But Carthage like the phoenix reborn, spread its wings again but this time more beautiful than ever: impressive public baths, deadly amphitheatres, theatres to ensure the continuance of culture, villas with rich decorations and paved with beautiful mosaics recalling myths of former times.
The gods were parading to the delight of their wealthy sponsors, while the lives of their ancestors are meticulously reproduced.
But there is no pause in this continuous story because Christians are already present. They mark their presence by basilicas scattered throughout the land and also by the early Christian mosaics on display in many museums. We learn through these exhibits that Tunisia was pagan territory, then Christian, before falling to the Muslim Arabs who also came as conquerors.
Despite fortifying their newly occupied towns, the Byzantines eventually succumbed to the repeated incursions of the Muslim Arabs, colonizers of a new kind. Or perhaps not so new, if one remembers that the Phoenicians were Semitic peoples before being Romanized.
In 669 Kairouan was founded followed by Tunis in 698.
Following this there were multiple dynasties: Aghlabids, Fatimids, Zirids, Hafsides and to top this diversity, the Ottoman Turks settled there for a long time before being ousted by an ambitious France.
Meanwhile, they are Andalusians and Italians in search of fertile lands.
Had not it been loudly proclaimed that Tunisia acted as the granary of Rome? That Tunisia was recognised for its notable martyrs in Christian times? Did not she provide the Vatican with three Popes from Tunisia (the 14th Pope Saint Victor I, the 32nd Pope Miltiates and the 49th Pope Saint Gelasius I)? And there is also the great scholars of history and sociology and the interpretation of the Qur’an from Tunis?
These giants of antiquity can be rediscovered from times past from the textbooks of our younger age, and memories of their mythical achievements have nurtured the dreams of our childhood.
This country of contrasts and beautiful scenery does not need to use advertising slogans to clinch your interest. The dialogue and interchange between civilizations in a tumultuous Mediterranean is much echoed in the history of Tunisia, and this is particularly relevant today. The presentation of this dialogue and interchange between civilizations is integral to our understanding of the past, the present and the future
Sami HARIZE - Professional National and Accredited Guide
: Sidi Bou Said
: +216 98 368 817
Tunisia is presented to you by a national professional guide licensed by the ONTT. Excursions and Cruise Tous in Tunisia have been prepared in which you will discover the archaeological and cultural heritageof Tunisia : ruins of Dougga, Thuburbo Majus, Carthage, EL Djem and the museums (Bardo, etc.). This new type of tourism is aimed at individuels and special groups who seek an itinerary tailored specifically to their interests | Sami HARIZE | Tunisia Discovery | Visit Tunisia | Travel Tunisia | Tourism Tunisia | Cultural Tourism Tunisia | Guide Tunisia | Msc Cruise Tunisia | Costa Cruise Tunisia | Carnival group Tunisia | VIP Tourism Tunisia | Hotel Tunisia