Understanding Utica over the longue durée
19 May 2022
First appointment of the lecture series “North African urbanitas revisited: new methods and innovative theoretical approaches (3rd c. BC – 9th c. AD.)”, in collaboration with the RomanIslam Center for Advanced Studies at the University of Hamburg.
The city of Utica (Tunisia) holds a long and complex history. Utica was one of the oldest and (at times) most important towns of North Africa in antiquity, and yet the site remains relatively poorly understood in comparison to neighbouring Carthage or other more well-known settlements. What was the impact on the built environment of Utica’s brief status as Rome’s North African capital? How did the city change under Roman control, and why did it ultimately fail? The Tunisian-British Utica project explores these long-term developments through a programme of targeted excavation, architectural reconstruction, and geophysical survey. This paper presents some of the key findings from this international collaboration and traces the different transformations at Utica under Rome, its rapid growth and competitive monumentalisation as well as the site’s gradual abandonment and reoccupation.
Andrew Dufton (co-authors: Imed Ben Jerbania, Elizabeth Fentress, Andrew Wilson)