Archaeological remains of Pupput
Pupput (Tunisian Arabic: Souk el-Abiod) is a Roman archaeological site in northern Tunisia, located approximately three kilometers north-west of the medina of the town of Hammamet. Much of the Pupput is buried under modern holiday developments which have been built over the major part of the site.
A settlement existed here since as early as the 1st century BC (perhaps of Berber–Punic origin), and was a simple village at the time of the rule of Roman emperor Antoninus Pius (2nd century AD). The Roman politician Salvius Julianus is thought to have been born in the village. It became a Colonia under Commodus (185-192), at which time the city was probably a satellite town of its neighbour Neapolis. The earliest documentary record of the city was in 168 when it was promoted to the status of a municipium governed by an elected council. It appears to have gained in importance during the 2nd and 3rd centuries, when it expanded considerably and a significant number of public monuments were built. According to an inscription in the Bardo National Museum, dedicated to emperor Licinius (4th century), the Roman name of the town was Colonia Aurelia Commode Pia Felix Augusta Pupput.
In the Middle Ages the city became part of the Byzantine Empire, and a citadel was built to defend it. After the Arab conquest the city was renamed Qasr Zaid. Pirates from the Principality of Catalonia captured and destroyed the city in 1303, leaving it in ruins. The area was subsequently settled by charcoal burners from neighbouring Hammamet.
Historical sources mention the existence of a Capitol, a theatre and amphitheatre, of which no traces exist today. Remains were discovered by accident when the site was being levelled for construction. Rescue archaeology revealed part of a Roman necropolis, which at 300 meters is the largest in Roman Africa. Additionally a large residential quarter was found including houses, thermae (baths) which gave nearby Hammamet its name (from the Arabic word hammam, meaning "bath"), and a water supply network including aqueduct parts and cisterns. Grave goods and decorative architectural elements were also found, including mosaic flooring that indicates high-status buildings.
Puppi, the ancient city of Pupput corresponding to the modern Souk-El-Abiodh south of Hammamet in Tunisia, was also the seat of an ancient Christian episcopal see of the Roman province of Africa Proconsolaris, a suffragan diocese of the Archdiocese of Carthage. There are records of six bishops of the Diocese of Puppi. Two of the bishops, the Catholic Pannonio and the Donatist Vittoriano, attended the Council of Carthage in 411 when Catholics and Donatists gathered together called to resolve the Donatist schism in Roman Africa. A third bishop, Aurelio, was an attendee of the Council of Chalcedon in 451. Bishop Pastinato attended the Vandal Synod of Carthage in 484 called by King Huneric in 484 in an attempt to persuade the Catholic bishops to convert to Arianism. After the synod Pastinato was exiled. Bishop Fortunato attended the Carthaginian Council of 525 and Bishop Guloso attended an anti-monothelite council in 646.
- "The archaeological site of Pupput". Patrimonie de Tunisie. Retrieved 1 March 2017.
- Annuario Pontificio 2013 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2013, ISBN 978-88-209-9070-1), p. 956
- Stefano Antonio Morcelli (1816). Africa Christiana: in tres partes tributa (in Latin). 1. Betton. p. 258.
- "Puppi (Titular See) Puppitanus". Catholic Hierarchy. Retrieved 23 January 2017.
- Mongne, Pascal (2005). Archéologie: vingt ans de recherches françaises dans le monde. Paris: Maisonneuve et Larose/ADPF.ERC. pp. 260–262.
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