vrijdag 28 november 2014

CHULLU

 
CHULLU
 
 
 

This is the actual place Collo on the coast of Algeria near the cape Bougarouni, which was called by Pomp.Mela (I,33) the Promontorium Metagonium. Others say it is the Promotorium Tretum. There is no certainty about the Phoenician name for Chullu. When we are looking at the Latin name Chullu, it could be ḥ w l = corridor, gallery, circumference, but that is not certain, because of the double LL in the name of Chullu.
The town is mentioned by some classical authors:
Pseudo-Skylax (par.110-111) : “Thapsa is followed by Kaukakis, a city and harbour.” This should mean, that Chullu = Kaukakis. We will find out, this is not the case.
Itinerario Antoninus p.3
Tabulae Peutingeriana
Ptolemeus (IV,3,2) : Κολλο ψ Μέγαϛ ηχούλλον as a double name. In IV 2,2: Κανομκιϛ. This last name we see also in Chios in the Aegean area as Καύκασα en Καύκασν.
Chullu was probably a Punic settlement in a rather late period, because they have unearthed mostly Punic caves, where burials took place. There were cremations as well as burials. One of these caves of the Punic period was constructed according to a plan of a row of chambers after each-other. The same we encounter at Leptis-minus in Byzacium. In the graves they have found Punic ceramics, which could be associated with importations in the Hellenistic period: vases with black varnish, lamps of Greek character, ewers with trefoil mouth, hemispheric cups with moulded vegetal ornaments).
Furthermore they have found Carthaginian and Numidian coins. All this can be dated to the 3rd century BC to the beginning of the 1st century BC. Under Caesar and Augustus it was port colony that depended on what Plinius (V 22) calls “Cirta Sittianorum”, together with Rusicade, Milevum and Cuicul in what was an autonomous territory of the new province Africa Nova. In this period it seems that it was also a working place for purple painting, as Solinus tells us (in: Collectanea rerum memorabilium XXVI, 1: Chulli purpurario fuco Tyriis velleribus comparata). In Antonius Pius times (c.138 AD) Chullu was famous for leathers, timber and of course for its dyeing and purple fabrics. Then it was called by Ptolemy “Kollops Magnus”.
 
Before the 3rd century BC however Chullu was not an empty spot. We must take in account, that the Algerian coast was visited for centuries by Phoenician ships. Iberia was however the main target for the Phoenicians in the 9th-7th century BC. The North African coast was only important as relay-station on the long journey between Iberia and Phoenicia and mostly on the way back home! So they made some provisionally stations, just enough for victualling crew and repair ships. That is why there are hardly any findings out of these early centuries.
This view came into the picture during the 1st colloquium of the CEFYP (1998) in the proceedings: Intercambio y commercio preclassico en el Mediterraneo. La citta fenicie del Nord-Africa: problemi di integrazione etnica e risorse. L.I.Manfredi made the following distinction in the occupation of North-Africa by the Phoenicians:
I.c.750-c.650 BC only some bigger towns as Carthage, Utica, Rusaddir (Mellila).
II.c.650-c.600 BC some colonial expansion.
III.c.600-c.500 BC integration into the Carthaginian economy (Mercantilism)
In the last period a Liby-Phoenician class is formed.
 
Chullu may have been taken over by a Numidian ruler, trying to develop the economy of his country by calling Carthage and her culture for the advancement of his kingdom. After the fall of Carthage in 146 BC many Carthaginians fled to the west and the interior and also Chullu gets a boost in welfare. In the Roman period Chullu took part in the confederation of Cirta in the time of Sittius, who was an ally of Caesar and who got a symbolic independent territory in 46 BC for a short period in Numidia. Under Trajanus (98-117 AD) Chullu became a Roman colony. It became COLONAE MINERVIAE CHULLU.  Only some Roman quay walls are left out of the Roman period.
During the Donatist schism Chullu has even two bishops: Quillitanus and Fidentius.
In the Vandal period the city was partially razed by them and by an earthquake and when the Arabs came all glory came to an end, but in all the following centuries it kept her name: COLLO.
 
Chullu should not be confused with the Municipium Chul, which was near Menzel Bou Zelfa on Cape Bon (CRAI 1975, p.112-118) and also not with the municipium Chlulitanum or Chullitanum in Byzacium (CIL VI,1684). It is not identical with the town Acholla on the eastcoast of Tunesia.  Nevertheless these name similarities gives food for thought, that there could have been a migration from Byzacium to Chullu in Numidia. This is just a thought.
 
Some literature:
F.Decret – M.Fantar. L’Afrique du Nord dans l’antiquité, Paris, 1981 p.154-158
E.Lipinski. Itineraria Phoenicia, OLA 127. St.Phoenicia XVIII, Leuven, 2004 blz.395.
Capitain Hélo, Notice sur la nécropole liby-phénicienne de Collo, BAC 1895, p.343-368.
 

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