A day at Thuburbo Majus

In fact, my participation was motivated by three reasons:

-To encourage a new Association that gives to ambitious goal to grow smarter and more dynamic vision of heritage and seeks to promote the other.

-Re-discover Thuburbo Majus, an eccentric website over conventional tourist routes, some programmed by local operators and little media coverage both nationally and internationally.

-Enjoy a guide for two voices: that of Sami Hriz that hints of great personal and professional potential and John Whitehouse, an Australian lawyer who impresses with his immense erudition and knowledge of the Tunisian antiquity .For me who hesitates to recognize that in Sydney or Canberra is the capital of Australia, he literally amazed by his knowledge of every stone of the site and every page of ancient history of Tunisia.

To tell you the truth, I was not disappointed to have participated in this tour for several reasons,

The accomplice weather

The weather was great, neither too hot nor too cold with just a few frayed clouds caressing projected their shadows on the monuments stones and weathered columns.
Gradually, as the day progressed, the changing light kept splashing the gold dust and silver site with an apotheosis of magnificent primer sunset that shortened the time to visit and the long shadows majestically erect skyward columns.

The company
The participants constituted a balanced group of young students and adult amateurs; mild hair jet cocktail and salt and pepper hair; an unlikely mix of fresh spontaneity and bouncy hesitant but determined approach.

The site
The site is beautiful Thuburbo Majus is rich because of all the historical pages subscribed. An amazing telescoping it influences of all kinds and a skein of historical periods expertly dismantled stone by stone and loose thread by thread by John also meticulous scholar and Sami as severe as inspired.
Thuburbo Majus: a real sandwich of civilizations with Libyan strata Punic Libyan, Punic, Roman, Vandal, Byzantine, Christian and Muslim Arab.
Thuburbo Majus: stones and marbles of all colors, temples for all the Punic and Roman deities often occupying spaces dedicated to ancient cults, squats sacred or noble space for more mundane purposes at decadent periods, summer and winter baths translating intangible concerns that go beyond simple personal hygiene, a sports hall “palaestra of Petronii” unique, but a tired auditorium can accommodate 7,000 spectators for a population estimated between 10,000 and 12,000 inhabitants, cisterns that demonstrate excellent control of groundwater and surface water, a modern Roman urban planning at the time, however, respecting the topography of the site and structuring buildings in the Libyan city Punic, the hectares and hectares waiting to be excavated ….

Faced with such density of temples and places of entertainment, I found myself drawing a parallel between Thuburbo Majus and Fahs the village today: it’s like today had a Fahs planning regulations, an architectural specifications, a theater, an amphitheater, a sports hall, two large thermal complexes, sewage networks, gigantic tanks, forum vast and myriad temples, basilicas and churches … a dream impossible to achieve today or very long term.

Some regrets
What is regrettable is that the Ministry of Culture and organizations responsible for safeguarding and enhancement of the sites seem completely abandon Thuburbo Majus to deliver the bad weather, weeds, brambles, reptiles and .No flocks of sheep paths and marked trails, total absence of extra signage and intramural, no site museum, no site guide, no refreshment bar or cafeteria. However, a good mention of a brand new shelter, all white with spotless toilets . Clean but empty and soulless.

In short
I liked this foray into a site that deserves from more promotion and public authorities more careful . I came back with images in their eyes, full knowledge of the head, and wearing new friendships names such as Samia, Salsabil, Yosra, Azza or Rania and so many others who would excuse me for not having kept their first names.
I will not forget their relevant issues, their sly asides and their accomplices crazy laughs that sound like bells .I admired the courage and intelligent jitters of those who took the floor to present some monuments.

Congratulations to The ACDT which, I think, succeeded his baptism of fire in caregiver organizing this day .It shall continue in this way without losing sight of the marketing and communication component and constantly enriching the content of programs by playful components.
A big thank you to John and Sami who were able to awaken the spirits that haunt the site of Thuburbo Majus.

Wahid Ibrahim

November 4, 2012


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