Kirkuan is an ancient and rather large Punic city of the times of Carthage, dating from the V-IV centuries. BC. During the first Punic War, it was destroyed and then, unlike Carthage, was not rebuilt by either the Romans or the Arabs. But the more valuable things found on its territory, because they show the life of that time, not distorted by outside influence.
There are almost no important historical documents in Kirkuan, but a whole collection of household items is kept, which is kept in a nearby archaeological museum, opened in 1986. According to one version of the city was destroyed in the II. BC. Roman emperor Mark Regul, on the other – already during the war with Agathocles in 310 BC. er he suffered greatly, but the inhabitants remained in the city right up to the conquest of Kirkuan by Rome.
The city was quite rich, as extensive trade was conducted on its territory and trade routes passed through it. In addition, purple dye for fabrics was mined and produced here, which then was a very expensive item.
Some archaeologists believe that the city could have been built before Carthage – in the 6th century BC, since there are several houses on its territory, much older than the rest. Judging by the number of foundations, about 2 thousand people lived in Kirkuan, there was a sanctuary, and in the center there was a market square.
The necropolis, located northwest of the city, was found by a local resident in 1929, when he was working in the field, but French archaeologists began excavating it only in 1952, 20 years later. In 1985, UNESCO declared Kirkuan, including the adjacent necropolis, a World Heritage Site as the best preserved Punic settlement.
Tourists visiting Kirkuan have the opportunity to see the layout of the Punic city in its original form, walk along its streets and go into houses where unique pink marble baths and mosaic panels have been preserved.