Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Tunisia's wonderful Bardot Museum and Dougga

Tunisia Temple of Jupiter at Dougga

Tunisia had preserved many of its ancient treasures at National Bardo Museum. It’s too bad people are learning about it due to a criminal attack murdering tourists there today.

We spent twelve days in Tunisia in October, 1981, with our daughter Heidi who was 4 years old and toured Bardo Museum. After over 30 years I remember huge mosaics - the pictorial/historic ones. There were also geometric ones; as I recall the latter were always floors. I also remember a baptismal in the shape of the cross, more like a plus-shaped cross. Yes, North Africa was a center of Christianity before invasion and victory by Muslims.

See for yourself - National Bardo Museum

Even more memorable was seeing the sites of ancient ruins. Carthage didn’t have much to see, because it is on the coast and easily invaded. Much better preserved was Dougga. See the pic of the Temple of Jupiter and its  theater is in good shape. Our friends told of us similar Roman ruins in France where every step was worn way down by hordes of visitors over the centuries, due to better accessibility.

Carthage was the first place a man came up to me and said “Look at these” and showed me coins. “They are from the time of Emperor X. I will give you a very good price.” Did they expect me to believe that!? Of course the same thing happened at least once at every ancient site.

But... I remember mosaics at Dougga that we were walking on that were coming apart, because no preservation had been done. It’s shocking to see something man-made over 2,000 years ago falling apart, while local guides are giving tours every day.

See about Dougga at Historvius

Photo: Temple of Jupiter at Dougga, Tunisia. From Historvius.

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