Neapolis archaeological site | Neapolis | Tunisia Travel Guide

Neapolis Archaeological Site

The Neapolis archaeological site is a Tunisian archaeological site located on the coast, two kilometers southwest of the center of the city of Nabeul.

Neapolis is considered one of the few cities in the Maghreb to bear a Greek name; it is moreover cited as early as the 5th century BC. J.C. in the texts of Thucydides. It is also the oldest city cited after Carthage and the same texts confirm its importance during the Punic period, before its destruction by Lucius Calpurnius Piso in 148 BC. J.C.

The city is elevated to the rank of colony under Caesar or Augustus. Until the 5th century, certain inscriptions still bear witness to its economic prosperity. The latest data on the city relate to the attestation of bishops until 646.

This economic prosperity was mainly based on the production of a condiment highly appreciated by the Romans and made from fish, garum. The city suffered particularly from the consequences of a major earthquake which caused a tidal wave which submerged an entire part of the city in July 365, the remains of which (about twenty hectares) were discovered in 2017 by an Italian archaeological mission. -Tunisian.

It was not until the twelfth century that Al Idrissi mentioned the existence of an “old Nabeul” reduced to ruins a few kilometers from the new city.

During his trip to the regency of Tunis, Victor Guérin noted several inscriptions on pedestals including Col(oniae) Iul(iae) Neap(olis). The first excavations carried out in 1965 revealed an industrial complex from the Roman era for the manufacture of garum, as well as a residential area with houses paved with superb mosaics, some of which are preserved on site and others exhibited in the Nabeul museum.

A site enhancement program was undertaken from 1996 to 2002 by the National Heritage Institute and the Heritage Enhancement and Cultural Promotion Agency: it consisted of restoring the layout of the walls, the covering of the porticos of the galleries of the salting basins, the repair of the paving of the decumanus as well as the opening of a new room at the museum of Nabeul devoted to the site.

The Neapolis archaeological site in Pictures

Neapolis in video

Neapolis on the map