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Travel Guide Africa Tunisia Kerkouane



Kerkouane, or Kerkuane, is a Punic city in northeastern Tunisia, near Cape Bon. This Phoenician city was probably abandoned during the First Punic War (ca. 250 BC) and, as a result, was not rebuilt by the Romans. It had existed for almost 400 years.

Excavations of the town have revealed ruins and coins from the 4th and 3rd Centuries BC. Around the site where the layout is clearly visible, many houses still show their walls, and the coloured clay on the facades is often still visible. The houses were built to a standard plan, in accordance with a sophisticated notion of town planning.

A sanctuary has some columns preserved, and in a small atrium parts of mosaics are found. Curbstones, doorsteps, thresholds, and floors of simple mosaic layers are found all over the ruins. Still archaeologists work on the Kerkouane site, but it is believed that the best parts have already been discovered.

Kerkouane was one of the most important Punic cities, with Carthage, Hadrumetum (modern Sousse) and Utica. UNESCO declared the Punic Town of Kerkouane and its Necropolis a World Heritage Site in 1985, citing among other things that the remains constitute the only example of a Phoenicio-Punic city to have survived.



Getting There and Around

Kerkouane is approximately 80 kilometres to the east of Tunis and equidistant (20 kilometres) between the towns of Keliba and El Haouaria.

Buses run from Kelibia and can drop you at the turn off for the ruins from which it is a 1½ km walk. (Unsure where to find these busses, taxi drivers had no information either)

A taxi there from Kelibia should cost about 4-10 DT. No meters here so settle on a price with the taxi drive before going. For the return trip, a taxi driver proposed a price of 2 DT (picking up other passengers on the way). It might be a wait for a taxi on the return and you'll have to get out to the main road (1½ km) but don't hesitate to flag down taxis with passengers as well. Otherwise, you can arrange with the taxi driver to wait for you (probably unnecessary as there are taxis that pass by), or you could hitchhike.

The site could be visited as a day trip from Tunis, Hammamet or perhaps even Sousse. Take a louage to Kelibia (no buses nor trains), which costs about 6.5 DT from Bab Alioua in Tunis. Taxis wait just beside the louage stop.

The remains are easy to walk around.




The museum shop sells a few drinks and snacks.




The best place to base yourself for accommodation would be the nearby town of Kelibia, but a day trip should suffice.

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This is version 1. Last edited at 9:24 on Apr 10, 17 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

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