Sunday, April 21, 2013

Old Rocks, Anyone? Part 1


My house sits in the middle of a plain, however, about 20 minutes away there is a low hill--more like a bunch of bumps when one looks from a distance. And yet, to stand on those mounds is exhilarating for one stands on the rooftops of an ancient Roman city, Uthina, among the largest colonies in Africa. You must watch your step--a hole in the ground might be a whole room under your feet, maybe a house...
First Berber, then Punic, Uthina had its golden age about 2000 years ago under the Romans who nailed down the essentials to perfection. Sections of a complex aqueduct system may still be seen. The engineers built solid pillars for sections that ran above ground.
The water cisterns are huge and still partially intact. 
Somewhat like long, high ceilinged rooms, 
the cisterns are lined up one against the other.
With a guaranteed water supply, they could then construct public baths, 
of which there are at least two
with indoor toilets that had good, solid seats. 
Notice the niches that gave each person a bit of privacy.
Shish! Two thousand years old and this wall is still standing. Roman masons knew how to do the job. I can't even get a mason to fix the cracks in the walls right.
This is not just any pile of old rocks and 
I'm glad I'm not an archeologist...all I want to do is dig when I visit Uthina! 

25 comments:

Bouts Choisis said...

How amazing! Thanks for the pictures.

Oh - and I have reasons to share your frustration with modern day stonemasons!

Els said...

Thanks for the lovely tour Nadia !

Rachaeldaisy said...

What an amazing place to be able to explore. I wonder what happened to the city?

deanna7trees said...

how wonderful to be able to roam about.

barbara woods said...

amazing, i love things like that.

Muddling Through said...

What a wonderful bit of history right there for you to explore! I love old rocks. Here, there just aren't any.

Ms. said...

Astounding--what a movie set--and bones, there would be bones if you dug--we are that close to the past--there it is right under your feet

Carole said...

Oh Nadia! Ohhhhh it would be interesting to visit your part of the world!!! Rocks, cisterns, aqueduct systems, pillars, archways, underground cities AND a goat! AMazing to me who lives in a city that is only 100 plus years old. Thanks for the tour. xo Carole

The Idaho Beauty said...

This is so interesting to me. My mother taught Latin and what she called "living Latin" so not just the language but the culture too. I remember well the sections on road building, aqueducts and architecture, all the innovations that allowed for the structures they came up with. That top picture fascinates the most, the archway held in place merely by the shape and placement of the individual stones, in this case shed of what it originally was meant to hold up. Wonderful!

Julie Fukuda said...

Living in a time and place where "old" is to be considered out-dated and useless by the younger generations, I wonder if any of them could create something lasting this long.

Merilyn said...

Glorious scenes and wonderful history! Thankyou for sharing this fascinating part of the world, I look forward to Part II.
I do have to say though, those toilets don't look too inviting, a bit too public for me despite the attempt at privacy LOL!!!

Linda said...

Fascinating!

Anneliese said...

This is a wonderful post. Isn't that amazing what they did, the Romans. Fascinating.

Becky said...

Very amazing! I've never had the opportunity to travel abroad as an adult. Thanks for sharing and taking me on a virtual tour!

Teodo said...

Wonderful tour Nadia. Thanks you. ciao Linda

Caroline Heinrichs said...

Thanks for this eye opening reminder of history, what a fascinating country!!

Nancy said...

How exciting to be able to explore such a historic place!

Sandy said...

I am always awe-struck while walking through ancient ruins whether it is Native American, Roman, or another culture. The workmanship to last for so many centuries when our own homes barely last a lifetime now.

It must be wonderful to have Uthina so close to your home.

Michele said...

What a rich history! Amazing! It makes me wonder about all who lived there. Thanks so much for sharing.

rtquilter said...

Wow! This is very cool nadia! You KNOW that my whole family would be fascinated to see this;-) Mind you, Katherine's area of expertise is rather earlier than the Romans . VERY cool to live so close to this though. Lucky you.Hope all is well with you and yours?

KhadijaTeri said...

Thanks for posting this... love it love it love it!

Janet M. Atwill said...

I can't wait! Though I'll be just as--no more--impressed with your beautiful gardens, mosaic pots, and quilts!!!!! AND I want to learn about the amazing quilt that is Tunisia!

Kahna said...

OMG! SO beautiful! Can't wait to be there very soon and take the girls to see this.

Kahna said...

Do you all know that Nadia and I are running a Bed & Breakfast on this paradise-like orchard in Tunisia, very close by to these Roman ruins? This summer, I am trying to convince her to organize some quilting workshops while you enjoy the historic sites in Tunisia. Our rates are super cheap (hit it before our peak season): $135.00/night. As soon as I convince Zee Artiste re the quilting workshops, I will let y'all know! I highly recommend Tunisia in the Fall and in the Spring. Tickets are cheaper before June 1st. We also offer a super healthy breakfast (Nadia's special omelets made with farm eggs and organic veggies) and a complimentary special Nadia Tunisian soup called 'Brudu'. (My kids are total suckers for it!) Speaking of a healthy stay in Tunisia. What are you waiting for? Get your tickets asap! Fly straight into Tunis-Carthage International Airport! Nadia will be waiting for you in the Arrivals.

blandina said...

I never heard about Uthinia in the long years that I was studying Latin in school, Roman cities in North Africa were just not contemplated.
Only Carthago was mentioned because of the Punic wars, so I was baffled when I visited Volubilis in Maroc: such a big and importand city I had never heard of! Neither had my Latin teacher...
A visit to Uthinia is now on my 'to see' list, thanks for the information.