The ancient city of Uthina lies about thirty kilometres
to the south of the capital, at what is known
as Oudna, on a knoll overlooking the main access
routes to Carthage from the south and west of
the country. Its foundation seems to date to the
Libyc (or Berber) period as attested by the place
name. Following the course of History, it became
Punic then Roman before being briefly Vandal and
Byzantine, for no more than a century each, and
then falling into final decline after the Arab
conquest in the VIIth century.
The protected site extends over about a hundred
hectares. It is dotted with imposing constructions
dating to the Roman period now under excavation
and consolidation. These include the capitol,
the largest of Africa, built on three levels;
two groups of large capacity cisterns; large public
baths and small private baths; vestiges of patrician
villas, an amphitheatre partially dug into the
ground with a capacity of above 10.000 spectators.
Excavation campaigns undertaken on the site since
the end of the XIXth century have revealed many
pieces dating to the Punic, Roman and Arab periods.
Uthina has also given the Bardo Museum a collection
of mosaic pavements of unsurpassed workmanship.
Now that the site of Oudna has been designated
an archaeological park it is being equipped with
the necessary infrastructure to turn it into a
true tourist centre: a waymarked circuit, proper
signposting, a site museum, a visitor’s
centre, a shop.