Utica, Tunisia: Coastal Archaeological Site

Utica is an archaeological site located in an ancient port city founded by the Phoenicians. It is about thirty kilometres northwest of Carthage in the governorate of Bizerte. The name Utica means “old town” in the Punic language.

This ancient city is also the largest archeological site in the region. In ancient times, the Mediterranean ocean reached to the actual ruins. The site is in a close proximity with other cities of historical importance:

  • Zhana is just 2 kilometers away and holds several important monuments
  • Ghar El Melh located on a narrow strip of land between the mountains and the sea
  • El Alia which is well-known for its Andalusia style monuments
  • Metline is another coastal city in the traditional Andalusia style

A Brief History

Utica is known as one of the oldest cities of the western Mediterranean. According to Pliny the Elder, Aristotle and Velleius Paterculus, the city was founded in 1101 BC. The city-state was one of the key trading posts between Tyre and Cadiz.

Utica often changed sides during the course of time: the city remained loyal to the Punic rulers when fighting the Greeks from Sicily and then the Romans. Later Utica became allies with the latter during the Third Punic War.

Plan a Visit to Utica

Utica is a jewel for Tunisian archaeology because of its many artifacts, constructions, and monuments. The Roman era has left its mark. You will find an amphitheater, circus, theaters, baths, cisterns, aqueducts, forum and temples.

A tour to this ancient city cannot be completed without a visit to the National Museum that houses collections from Punic and Roman periods as stelae, terracotta vases, lamps, jewelry, statue bases.

Our team of Tunisia travel experts can help customize a tour itinerary which includes a visit to Utica during your travel to Tunisia.

About the author

Kevin Dyck is the founder of Mosaic North Africa and has over 11 years experience living in North African countries. He is an Arabic speaker with a passion for travelers to encounter the diverse cultures and natural beauty found throughout the North Africa region. He currently lives in and works for MNA from Tunis, Tunisia.

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