The site has been occupied since 2000 BC and saw substantial settlement by the C4th BC under the control of Carthage. Controlled by the Numibian dynasty after the Punic Wars the area was eventually annexed by Rome. By the C2nd AD it was the administrative and commercial centre of a prosperous agricultural  area but declined from Byzantine times. Now a World Heritage Site it is the best preserved small town of the period in north Africa.

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