Kerkouane was founded in the 6th century BC, and in 319 BC the town was plundered by the Agathocles, recovered somewhat, and then was finished off in 256 BC by the Romans in the first Punic war.
Abandoned during its prime in the 3rd century BC and never reoccupied. Unlike other Punic sites in Tunisia, this one did not become "tainted" with Roman or Byzantine settlement. Thus it offers a unique insight into the world of the Punic.
The site was discovered by accident in 1952. In 1982 the site was added to the World Heritage List.
Excavations of the town have revealed ruins and coins from the 4th and 3rd Centuries BC. Around the site where the layout is clearly visible, many houses still show their walls, and the coloured clay on the facades is often still visible. The houses were built to a standard plan, in accordance with a sophisticated notion of town planning.
A sanctuary has some columns preserved, and in a small atrium parts of mosaics are found. Curbstones, doorsteps, thresholds, and floors of simple mosaic layers are found all over the ruins. Still archaeologists work on the Kerkouane site, but it is believed that the best parts have already been discovered.
Kerkouane was one of the most important Punic cities, with Carthage, Hadrumetum (modern Sousse) and Utica.
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