vrijdag 19 december 2014

RUSGUNIAE

 
RUSGUNIAE
 
The last settlement with RUS in the name is situated on the Cape Matifou or Bordj el Bahri at the NE end of the bay of Algiers on the Algerian coast. In the Phoenician/Punic period it was called: R ’ š – g n y = Cape of the Francolin. In the name we see GUNI (also in Arab and Hebrew).
In Greek: Ptolemeus (IV 2,6) Ρουγόνιον = Rousgonion.
In Latin: Plinius (NH V 2,20) + CIL VIII 9045,9047,9247,9250.
French: Tementfoust + La Pérouse.
Arab: Tamadfous.
 

Thanks to the efforts of many French military and scholars many antiquities ware dug up:
V.Waille, Découverte archéologique au Cap Matifou (Revue Africaine 41 (1897) p.286.
P.Salama, La colonie de Rusguniae d’après les inscriptions, Revue Africain 99 (1955) p.5-52.
P.Salama, Chronique d’une ville disparue : « Rusguniae » de Mauretanie Césarienne (Bulletin de la Societé Nationale des Antiquaires de France, 1996, p.129-143.
M.Leglay, Saturne Africain, Monuments II, Paris 1966, p.305.
St.Gsell, La basilique de Rusguniae (Algérie) découverte par le lieutenant Chardon (CRAI 44th year, no 1 (1900) p.48-52.
 

Findings :
- rectangular ruins close to the sea.
- c.100 Punic steles, that were re-used in a Christian cemetery.
- a sanctuary of Saturn (Baal Hammon).
- circular baths
- Christian basilica of 35 x 20 m (4th century AD)
- Mosaics from the basilica and the mosque with fishes, sheep, plants, flowers, inscriptions.
- graves of a bishop and a military man out of the Byzantine period.
- Aqueduct.
- old harbour relic: here under-water archaeology find many amphorae.
- inscription from Cherchell (29/30 AD) recording an offer made to Saturn by a priestess assisted by a woman from Rusguniae.
- inscription for aid of corn by the town of Tipasa.
- a golden piece of Domitianus.
- buckle of a belt.
 
The Punic findings proof, that there was a Punic settlement in the 4th- 3rd century BC. In the Roman period the town got more important.  Under Augustus the town becomes a Roman colony. We know of a Roman Flavius Nuvel. In the Bizantine period there was a lot of restoration going on. That was done by a magister militum Africae: Flavi Ziperis, tribune. His sarcophagus was almost 2 meters wide. It must have been an extensive person. He had on his head a little ampoule of glass filled with oil. He had two daughters: Patriciae and Constantinae.
 
Nowadays:
There are since 1965 neglecting conditions for the residual ruins. The cultural heritage is at stake. There is a lot of vandalism and pillage going on. The ruins are polluted. Finally they have made a plan to clean up the ruins and measures to protect them. A protection zone of 200 meters is needed. Nothing has come from that, but finally the Algerian government made a law with this decision: Judgment of 12 September 2012. Hopefully this will have some success.
 

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