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Djemila
Category: Points of Interest

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Djemila or Cuicul in Algeria is a typical example of Roman town planning in a mountain area. Ruin The city is 900 m. Its forum, basilica, temple, theater, triumphal arches and houses are among the best preserved in North Africa. The city known today as Djemila, its Arabic name, in Roman times was called Cuicul after its Berber name. The city became the basis of 96 or 97 years as a colony of Roman veterans, at the behest of Emperor Nerva. The purpose was to guard the important pass between Sétif and Constanine. After fifty years, rather large palace, and so many buildings that the buildings had to be outside the city walls. The 100 number came amphitheater and a public bath. The city flourished considered to have been under Septimius Severus' reign, the beginning of the 200's. When the city got a forum, public toilets, temple and premises for public meetings. The inhabitants of the city were Roman citizens, but it was in close contact with the Berbers, and marriage between groups were common.

Cuicul became a hub for Roman trade with sub-Saharan Africa: Their connections managed to southern Sudan. The camel caravans brought Berbers gold and ivory which they sold in Cuicul and other Roman colonies. The city's own resources were agricultural products such as corn and olives.

Christianity was firmly anchored in the Cuicul, it was built several churches and established a bishopric there. The city was then a place of pilgrimage for Christians, especially after Bishop Cresconius in 411 did erect a basilica with five main ships. The bishop stood under the supervision of the Byzantine Patriarch of Constantinople.

At its peak, the city had up to 200 000 inhabitants. The city was gradually abandoned after the fall of Rome in 500 - and 600 AD, and was destroyed by the surrounding peoples. During the Muslim kingdom of greatness, the city was never rebuilt, but was renamed Djemila, meaning "beautiful" in Arabic

Archaeological excavations in the area began in 1909. The city became a World Heritage Site in 1982.

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