The Moknine museum is both an archeological and an ethnographical museum reflecting the past and the present of a town and its region that for thousands of years have been rooted in the rich history of Tunisia.
The display of ceramic, of wich Moknine was one of the national production center, and the “Sidi Naija” (Menzel Fersi) modelled pottery, can offer a glimpse of the variety of this particular craft.
The exhibits, notably ceramics, confirms this craft’s thousand-year-old tradition in the region, dating back to the 3rd century BC. In Moknine, as in “Smirat” (Amirat Touazra), Punic or rather Liby-Phoenician presence refers to a sedentary population anchored in the civilisation of the times. The image of the warrior, figured on a modelled bowl accompanied by a neo-Punic inscription is one of the museum’s key exhibits representing this civilisation.
Eight centuries later, the mosaic of the Auriga illustrates the richness of the region, scattered with large villages and wealthy farms belonging to native Africans, as the owner of the dwelling comprising its own private baths. The collection of bronze objects, also dating to the 5th century, is unique of its kind in Tunisian heritage.
The wealth of Moknine’s popular heritage, its multiple crafts covering most of the needs of daily life, cannot be captured by a single museum.
Our approach seeks to highlight the link between the past and the present, forms from antiquity and contemporary forms in order to illustrate the morphological and typological continuity of some potteries. The various models and reconstructions seek to preserve the memory of workshops that are shortly to disappear to move to new premises.
Jewellery and costume are distinctive features of this town, through their elaborateness, variety and originality. They constitute infinite documentation on this society, its symbols, the skills of its women and men, where the material and immaterial co-exist and combine. The memory of the Jewish community that marked the town’s goldsmith sector bears testimony to a period that is present in all our memories, steeped in folerance and fraternity.