Oudhna (Uthina) The architectural park
Habib Ben Hassen
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Situated approximately thirty kilometres to the south-west of Tunis, the ancient city of Uthina corresponds to the present-day Oudhna agricultural domain. Located on a natural elevation, it overlooks a fertile agricultural plain stretching between Jebel Ressas, Jebel Bou Kornine and the wadi Meliane.
Little is known of the city’s origins; it was most likely a pre-Roman town, as attested by ceramics found on the site. It was probably a Berber-Punic urban centre transformed into a colony under Octavian-Augustus. In the 1st century AD Pliny the Elder places it amongst the oldest colonies of Africa. Its golden age lasted throughout the first two centuries AD. The city declined towards the end of Antiquity and became a large village during the Arab-Moslem period.
Besides the occasional excavations undertaken during the XIXth century in the large dwellings and the acropolis (the present capitol) and the work carried out by Colonel Reyniers in 1947, the site remained almost untouched.