A team of archaeologists has unearthed vast underwater ruins of an ancient Roman city in the coastal Tunisian town Nabeul.
The ruins, which were discovered this week in northeastern Tunisia, are said to belong to an old city that was destroyed by a powerful Tsunami that ran through the Mediterranean region some 1,600 years back.
According to the archaeologists, the ruins are a confirmation that indeed the Roman city of Neapolis was destroyed by a tsunami around 365 AD.
Among the remains discovered are 100 tanks believed to have been used for production of garum – a salty fish condiment. Old street signs and monuments were also discovered.
They further confirm that Neapolis was among the largest centers for the manufacture of garum in the Roman world.
The team of archaeologists led by Mounir Fantar, the head of a Tunisian-Italian archaeological mission, has been working along the coast of Nabeul since 2010. This summer offered the perfect weather conditions for a deep sea exploration, leading to the super discovery.
“This discovery has allowed us to establish with certainty that Neapolis was a major center for the manufacture of garum and salt fish, probably the largest center in the Roman world,” Mr. Fantar told AFP.
He added that the find, which is about 50 acres long, proves that the ancient Roman city had been partly submerged by the tsunami on July 21 in 365 AD.
Many of the city’s remains are still scattered across Nabeul, an Arabian settlement built on top of Neapolis after the old city collapsed. Many new hotels and homes have been built on top of the city’s remains.
Very little information about the site exists in the Roman history because the city supported Carthage instead of the Romans during the Third Punic War.
Historians suggest that the Romans could have decided to punish Neapolis for its disloyalty by excluding information about it in their records.
However, there are many other ancient Roman sites dotted around Tunisia, including the El Jem Amphitheatre, La Malga Cisterns, and Dougga. All these sites are must-see attractions, drawing visitors from far and wide.