The archaeological Museum of Gafsa

It is situated in the heart of the old city, immediately opposite the “Roman pools” that it overlooks in a décor bearing the mark of centuries. Here archaeological pieces from the city itself , from the vicinity and the rest of the governorate are grouped together for display.

The mention of Gafsa immediately brings to mind “Capsian” the civilisation, which in the Vth millenary made a major turn in the history of civilisation in North Africa. It is therefore not surprising that prehistory holds a choice place in this museum with various flint and stone tools or worked of bone. There are also human and animal representations and material evidence of spiritual life. The visit of this department can usefully be completed by that, in another town quarter, of the last “snailery” saved from destruction, a tumulus dating to prehistory made of thick deposits of ash mixed with flint ships and snail shells (these gastropods were one of the main foods to be consumed during the Capsian era).

The other wing of the museum houses collections dating to the Roman period. It must be remembered that Capsa was an advance post on the limes and hence, the headquarters of a garrison commanded by high ranking military chiefs. Everyday objects, jewellery, coins, sculptures and mosaics constitute the essential of these collections, one of the key exhibits undoubtedly being the large mosaic pavement figuring all the phases of circus games.


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