Sbeitla

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Sbeitla
Arch of Diocletian
Arch of Diocletian
Sbeitla is located in Tunisia
Sbeitla
Sbeitla
Location in Tunisia
Coordinates: 35°13′47″N 9°7′46″E / 35.22972°N 9.12944°E / 35.22972; 9.12944Coordinates: 35°13′47″N 9°7′46″E / 35.22972°N 9.12944°E / 35.22972; 9.12944
Country Flag of Tunisia.svg Tunisia
Governorate Kasserine Governorate
Area
 • Total 437.6 sq mi (1,133.5 km2)
Population (2004)
 • Total 20,253 [1]
 • Ethnicities Arab
 • Ethnicities density 142.7/sq mi (55.11/km2)
 • Religions Islam
Time zone CET (UTC1)
Postal code 1250
Website Sbeitla Official Website

Sbeitla (Arabic: سبيطلة‎) is a small town in north-central Tunisia. Nearby are the Roman ruins of Sufetula, containing the best preserved Forum temples in Tunisia. It was the entry point of the Muslim conquest of North Africa and south of Europe.

Sbeitla is the largest city in the Kasserine Governorate with an area of 1133.5 km2.[2] It is located in 33 km in the west of the governorate, and 264 km to Tunis.

History[edit]

The oldest traces of civilization in the zone are Punic megaliths and funereal stela.

The region was inhabited by nomadic tribes until the Legio III Augusta established a camp at Ammaedara. Through the surrender of the Berber leader Tacfarinas the region was pacified and populated under the Emperor Vespasian and his sons between 67 and 69.

Some inscriptions found in the city suggest that the settlement had success along the lines of others in North Africa during the 2nd century, reaching great prosperity through the olive industry, whose cultivation benefited from excellent climatic conditions in the region. The olive presses found in the ruins of the city further bolster this conclusion. The resulting prosperity made possible the construction of a splendid forum and other important buildings.

The city began to decline during the Late Empire, during which the city was surrounded and occupied by Vandals, a fact that is demonstrated by the appearance of temples dedicated to the barbarian gods.

The arrival of the Byzantines inaugurated a new period of splendor. In 647, the fields before the city were the site of a major battle between the Byzantines and Berbers of Gregory the Patrician and the Rashidun Caliphate's governor of Egypt, Abdullah ibn Saad. The battle ended in a decisive Muslim victory, which shook Byzantine control over the region and signalled the beginning of the Muslim conquest of North Africa.

The battle with Muslim army was under the leadership of the leader (Caliph) Uthman ibn Affan who sent the army under the leadership of Abdullah ibn Saad. At his arrival to Barqa, Uqba ibn Nafi joined the army with his army and they prepared together the plan to conquest Sbeitla.

The battle was long and hard, for that reason the Caliph Uthman ibn Affan sent reinforcement under the leadership of Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr. The three leaders prepared a new plan and they succeeded to win the battle.

Main sights[edit]

Roman remains[edit]

Roman bath with fish mosaic
  • The Triumphal Arch of the Tetrarchy at the entrance to the city commemorates the four emperors that governed the empire in the year 300, just before the rule of Constantine I
  • The Public Baths
  • The Forum is one of the best preserved in the world
  • The Gate of Antoninus, which stands at the entrance to the forum and can be dated between 138 and 161. Its inscriptions make reference to Antonius Pius and his two adopted sons, Lucius Verus and Marcus Aurelius
  • The three temples. In place of constructing only one temple dedicated to the three most important Roman gods (Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva) the inhabitants of the city built separate temples for each one. A similar arrangement is only found at Baelo Claudia, in Spain.
  • Other important buildings include the theater and the public fountains.

Byzantine remains[edit]

The majority of the Byzantine buildings take advantage of the foundations of earlier Roman ones. They include:

  • The church of Bellator
  • The church of Vitalis
  • The chapel of Jucundus
  • The church of Servus
  • The church of St Gervase, Protase, and Tryphon.

Geography[edit]

Sbeitla is located in western central Tunisia. By road it is 33 kilometres (29 mi) north-east of Kasserine, 246 kilometres (180 mi) south-west of Tunis, 166 kilometres (141 mi) south-west of Sousse.

Culture[edit]

Thanks to its well preserved archaeological site and its prestigious forum, the cultural activities in Sbeitla have prospered. It organizes an annual festival in the forum, and it has an archaeological museum.

Museums[edit]

The museum of Sbeitla houses several maps, sculptures, and mosaics. It is formed by three exposition rooms. The first one is about the Capsian culture, the second one is about the rest of Dionysus's empire. The last one is an exhibition room of two Mosaics.

Festivals[edit]

Since 2000, the city holds her Spring International festival each year, it is an international celebration were many famous actors like Mahmoud Yacine and authors like Mahmoud Messadi were honored.[3]

Economy[edit]

The economy of Sbeitla relays on handicraft, agricultural and petroleum industries managed by ETAP in the oil field of Douleb.

Agricultural[edit]

The city is surrounded by a large field of agriculture of olive and almond, and animal husbandry. It contains 919 shallow wells, 137 deep wells, a mountain lake and a mountain dam the irrigated Area remains limited to 2930 hectars.[4]

Distribution of irrigated areas in 2008.[5]
Irrigables Areas (ha) irrigated Areas (ha) Usage Rate (%) Densification Rate (%)
Public Privé Ensemble Public Privé Ensemble Public Privé Ensemble Public Privé Ensb
992 2374 3366 794 2136 2930 80 100 90 110 111 111

Petroleum industries[edit]

The Oil field of Douleb is one of the fields explored by ETAP, since April 12th, 1968 and it produces 230 000 barrels\year. In 1974, the field reached it maximal productivity with 1200m3 per day.[6]

Handicraft[edit]

Tunisian brnous

The majority of handicraft known in Sbeitla relay on wool processing. Tunisian barnous is one of those handcrafts.

Notable people[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]