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                 Roman Uzita

The Tunisian Sahel region is crossed by a wide but low depression between the Sidi el Hani and Sahline salt lakes through which the Oued Melah flows in a NE direction towards the Monastir coastal wetlands. Approximately six miles from the coast lies a long and narrow plateau, which rises several meters above the valley floor. This ridge commands a wide view of the surrounding valley, which made it attractive for human occupation. Its name, Henchir Makrceba, indicates the presence of a field of ruins. The remains have been identified as the ancient settlement of Uzita.

 

Excerpts from Caesar’s Bellum Africanum:

 

-37- Accordingly, without anyone knowing or suspecting his plan, at the third watch he ordered all his legions to be led outside the camp and follow him in the direction of the town of Ruspina, where he had  a garrison; it was also the first place to have joined his side.  He then descended a gentle slope and, keeping to the left side of the plain, led his legions along close to the sea. This plain is remarkably level and extends for twelve miles and the chain of not so very lofty downs which encircles it right from the very sea gives it the appearance of a kind of amphitheater.  This chain includes a few high hills, on each of which were situated some very ancient turrets and watchtowers and in the last 2 of these Scipio had a defense post and  picket.

 

-41- And now the Julian legions were less than a mile away from the town of Uzitta, which Scipio held, when the latter,  fearing that he would lose the town on which his army had been accustomed to rely for its water supply and all other means of support, led out all his forces. These forces were drawn up, according to his custom, in four lines, the first consisting of cavalry deployed in line of squadrons, interspersed with elephants equipped with towers and armor.  Thus deployed, Scipio. marched to the relief of the town, while Caesar, observing this move and supposing that Scipio was advancing towards him prepared and fully resolved to fight, accordingly halted before the town in the position I described a little earlier.  With his own center covered by the town, Scipio drew up his right and left wings, where his elephants were, in full view of his opponents.

 

 

Roman Uzita

Welcome to Roman Uzita. Here you can find information about the archaeology, art and architecture of this Roman town. For information about past research at Uzita, please contact me at:

kmata [at] uchicago [dot] edu

 

For questions about current research at Uzita, please contact Hager Krimi of the National Heritage Institute of Tunisia at:

krimi_hager [at] yahoo [dot] fr

 

Last updated 9-23-2009