Ksar Ouled Soltane, near the city of Tataouine
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Tataouine (Arabic: تطاوين Taṭāwīn), also transliterated as Tatooine, Tatahouine, Tatahouïne, Tatawin, Fum Taţāwīn, Fumm Tattauin, Foum Tatahouine, Fum Tatawin, or Foum Tataouine, from the Berber Tittawin, literally meaning Eyes, with the figurative meaning of Water springs (see Moroccan city of Tetouan), is a city located in southern Tunisia. It is the capital of the Tataouine Governorate. The below ground, "cave dwellings" of the native Berber population, designed for coolness and protection, render the city and the area around it a tourist and film makers attraction.
The district is famous for its ksour (fortified Berber granaries) including the picturesque Ksar Ouled Soltane, Chenini and Douiret. These abandoned settlements feature vaulted adobe buildings, or ghorfas. Most people in Tataouine speak a Berber dialect, 63% of the inhabitants are Tunisian Berbers and 37% of its population are Arabs.
On June 27, 1931, a meteorite of unusual achondrite type and green color impacted at Tataouine; about 12 kg of fragments were found. The meteorite consists largely of the mineral enstatite, and is of the rare Diogenite type: these are believed to be samples of cumulate igneous rock derived from the asteroid 4 Vesta.
Tataouine's name became famous when George Lucas, who filmed the original Star Wars film in various locations of Tunisia (for example, the Lars Homestead, filmed at the Hotel Sidi Driss in Matmata), named Luke Skywalker's fictional home planet Tatooine.
Tataouine appeared in the end of the movie The X-Files as Foum Tataouine, where an extraterrestrial viral experiment facility was held.
In 2015, it became known that the town had become a waypoint for ISIL fighters on the way to training bases in Libya. Arms caches containing as much as 20,000 rounds of ammunition have been found in the surrounding areas.
- Pictures and photos of Tunisia, including Tataouine
- QuickTime VR image of Ksar Ouled Soltane, also photographed by Andy Carvin
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