Studies on the Urban History of Meninx (Djerba): The Meninx Archaeological Project 2015–2019


  • Stefan Ritter (ed)
  • Sami Ben Tahar (ed)


  • Agnes Weinhuber Technische Universität München
  • Jörg W. E. Fassbinder Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
  • Paul Scheding Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
  • Juliane Watson Deutsches Archäologisches Institut
  • Nichole Sheldrick University of Leicester
  • Nicolas Lamare Université de Picardie Jules Verne
  • Christoph Lehnert
  • Robert C. Arndt
  • Linda Stoeßel Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen
  • Lena Gabler
  • Mekki Aoudi
  • Saskia Kerschbaum Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
  • Marina Apatsidis
  • Alexander Köppe
  • Max Fiederling Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
  • Tobias Pflederer
  • Ahmed Gadhoum
  • Johannes Lipps Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
  • Kilian Wolf Technische Universität München
  • Dennis Mario Beck Universität Bonn
  • Karin Mansel Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
  • Tomoo Mukai
  • Francesca Assirelli
  • Bianca Mancini
  • Bartlin Schöpflin
  • Martin Kovacs Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen
  • Sebastian Kranz
  • Salvatore Ortisi Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
  • Stephanie Schmittner
  • Julia Thois
  • Simon Trixl
  • Joris Peters Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
  • Wim Van Neer Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences
  • Wim Wouters Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences
  • Michèle Dinies Freie Universität Berlin
  • Viola Podsiadlowski Deutsches Archäologisches Institut
  • Reinder Neef Deutsches Archäologisches Institut


Meninx was the eponymous capital of the island of Djerba in Antiquity. The spacious seaport, situated on a protected gulf, was famous as one of the main production centres of purple dye in the Mediterranean and developed into one of the largest metropolises in Roman North Africa. In 2015, an archaeological research project was initiated in cooperation between the Institute of Classical Archaeology at the University of Munich and the Institut National du Patrimoine, Tunisia, in order to explore the urban development of this previously little-known ancient site. First, the internal urban structure was clarified by means of a large-scale geophysical prospection. Then, during two field research campaigns in 2017 and 2018, targeted excavations were carried out, which, together with their rich and diverse finds, provided exemplary insight into various spheres of urban life in all periods of the city's history, from Punic times to Late Antiquity (4th century B.C. to 7th century A.D.). In addition, underwater archaeological investigations have for the first time shed light on the harbour facilities of Meninx.

The present volume offers a synthesis of the multifaceted results of these investigations. lt has become clear that Meninx, with its regional and supra-regional economic contacts, played a central role for the island, which functioned as a hub between Mediterranean maritime trade networks and the nearby mainland with its trading routes leading into the Sahara. In its role as a centre of production and trade, Meninx was strikingly different from the other Tripolitan coastal metropolises, Sabratha and Lepcis Magna, in that urban life was entirely focused on the sea and its resources.


Nordafrika, Djerba, town planning, urban studies, roman, punic


  • Preface: The Meninx Archaeological Project
    Stefan Ritter, Sami Ben Tahar
  • I. Introduction: The History of Research on Meninx and our Objectives
    Stefan Ritter, Sami Ben Tahar
  • II. Methodology
    1. Engineering Geodesy in Meninx – 2. Archaeological Geophysics – 3. The Database Management
    Agnes Weinhuber, Jörg W. E. Fassbinder, Paul Scheding, Juliane Watson
  • III. The Urban Layout: Results of the Magnetometer Survey
    Jörg W. E. Fassbinder, Stefan Ritter
  • IV. The Urban History of Meninx: A Synthesis of our Results
    1. The Punic and Late Punic Periods – 2. The Early, Middle and Late Roman Periods – 3. The Late Antique Periods
    Stefan Ritter, Sami Ben Tahar
  • V. The Excavations
    1. Introduction – 2. Trench 1 – A Main Road through Meninx in the Area of the Macellum – 3. Secteur 2 – Une maison punique et son occupation jusqu’à la fin de l’Antiquité – 4. Schnitt 3 – Ein Thermengebäude am Forum – 5. Trench 4 – Early Punic ...
    Stefan Ritter, Sami Ben Tahar, Nichole Sheldrick, Nicolas Lamare, Christoph Lehnert, Robert C. Arndt, Linda Stoeßel, Lena Gabler, Mekki Aoudi, Saskia Kerschbaum, Marina Apatsidis, Alexander Köppe, Paul Scheding
  • VI. The Underwater Archaeological Investigations (with Trenches 10–12)
    Max Fiederling, Tobias Pflederer, Ahmed Gadhoum
  • VII. Other Field Studies
    1. Architekturhistorische Untersuchungen in Meninx – Die Bauteile im Pavillon – 2. Der Nördliche Zisternenkomplex – Bauforscherische Untersuchung der freiliegenden Strukturen – 3. The Quarries
    Johannes Lipps, Kilian Wolf, Dennis Mario Beck
  • VIII. The Finds
    1. Die Funde: Einführung – 2. La céramique – 3. Liste des datations des unités stratigraphiques (SE) de Meninx 2017–2018 – 4. The Coin Finds – 5. Römische Statuetten aus den Thermen (Schnitt 3) – 6. Ein Marmorkopf des Antoninus Pius aus Meninx ...
    Karin Mansel, Sami Ben Tahar, Tomoo Mukai, Francesca Assirelli, Bianca Mancini, Saskia Kerschbaum, Bartlin Schöpflin, Lena Gabler, Martin Kovacs, Johannes Lipps, Stefan Ritter, Paul Scheding, Sebastian Kranz, Robert C. Arndt, Salvatore Ortisi, Stephanie Schmittner, Julia Thois, Max Fiederling
  • IX. Natural-sciences Research
    1. Archaezoology in Meninx: Palaeoeconomy between Local Economic Structure and Supra-regional Network – 2. Fish Exploitation at Meninx – 3. Crop Cultivation and Land-use on Djerba from Phoenician Times to Late Antiquity (4th cent. B.C.–6th cent. A.D.) ...
    Simon Trixl, Joris Peters, Wim Van Neer, Wim Wouters, Michèle Dinies, Viola Podsiadlowski, Reinder Neef, Max Fiederling
  • ملخص
    Sami Ben Tahar
  • Bibliography
  • List of Figures
  • Illustration Credits


Juni 1, 2022

Bibliographic Information and Reviews