Ancient city of Roman discovered under water

Monday 04 2017 3 weeks ago 26   Venezuela   Print

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Report  Web Desk : Tunis: Part of a Roman city that experts believe was submerged in the 4th century has been found off the coast of northeastern Tunisia. A vast 1,700 year old Roman settlement has been discovered off the coast of Tunisia after several years of archaeological exploration in search of the ancient city of Neapolis. Neapolis is believed to have been submerged after a tsunami in the 4th century AD destroyed most of it, as recorded by Roman soldier and historian Ammien Marcellin. The natural disaster also badly damaged Alexandria in modern Egypt and the Greek island of Crete. Very little has been recorded about the city because the citizens of Neapolis sided with Carthage rather than Rome during the Third Punic War in 149–146 BC, which ultimately destroyed the rival civilization and brought its territory under Roman control. There are so few references to Neapolis over an extended period of Roman literature it is thought the city was punished for its allegiances. A joint Tunisian-Italian archaeological mission has been looking for evidence of Neapolis since 2010. Their work was finally rewarded after good weather conditions this summer allowed divers in Nabeul to glimpse the more than 20 hectares site for the first time in centuries. “It’s a major discovery,” the mission’s leader Mounir Fantar said on Thursday, which confirms Marcellin’s theory about the city’s fate. The team not only found streets and monuments showing the city’s sophistication and wealth, but 100 tanks which were used to make garum, a fish-based fermented condiment which was a delicacy in the ancient Roman world. “This discovery has allowed us to establish with certainty that Neapolis was a major centre for the manufacture of garum and salt fish, probably the largest centre in the Roman world,” Mr Fantar added.