The last settlement with RUS in the name is situated on the
Matifou or Bordj el Bahri at the NE
end of the on the Algerian
coast. In the Phoenician/Punic period it was called: R ’ š – g n y = bay of
Algiers 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
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.