An Integrated Study of the Site

The Bir Massouda site is currently threatened by construction work. Prior to any building activities, several teams conduct coordinated rescue excavations on the site. These investigations supplemented previous work at the site by the Tunisian Archaeological Service, the Universität Hamburg, the University of Cambridge, the Open University and the German Archaeological Institute in Rome.

A team from Cambridge will focus on a Late Antique/Byzantine ecclesiastical building with baptistery in the north-western part of the site, formerly the western half of the Roman insula S110.
Visit the Cambridge webpage on Carthage.

The team from the Universiteit van Amsterdam investigated the southern half of the site, mainly around the Decumanus 1-South, focusing on Phoenician/Punic urbanisation and Roman Imperial reoccupation. Since 2002 these Amsterdam excavations are being continued by a joint Tunisian - Belgian team, directed by Fethi Chelbi and Roald Docter.

In this way, the teams cover the site, both in terms of its greatest geographical extent as well as in all its cultural-historical periods.

New Tuniso-Belgian fieldwork

The project was started informally in May 2002 with a first excavation campaign on the Bir Massouda site in which Tunisian and Belgian scholars and students closely worked together. The friendly cooperation was formally based on a first draft of a bilateral contract viz. a letter of intent. In April 2004, this contract was signed by the Directeur Géneral de l’Institut National du Patrimoine, Prof. Beji Ben Mami, in Tunis and the Rector of Ghent University, Prof. Andreas De Leenheer, in Ghent. It stresses the intention of furthering the project on the level of site research, staff formation and site and heritage management, as well as mise-en-valeur.