About 15 km west of Gouraya on the Corniche des Dahra the mouth of the wadi Damous would mark the site of the city Cartili in Roman times. The place Dupleix on the right bank of the river delivered some Roman relics. Nothing has been found here from the Phoenician/Punic period. About the name however a lot of speculations are going around:
1.Cartili has been regarded as a Phoenician foundation (Gsell, HAAN p.162-3), possibly named “City of
= Qart-’ili. See: F.Vattioni (Per una ricerca sull’antroponima fenicio-punica,
Studi Magrebini II, 1979, p.42-123). God
2.Another explanation can be the relation with Q r t l y occurring in a neo-Punic inscription from Tunesia (NP 114: J.B.Chabot, Punica XVII,5 in Journal Asiatique 11th serie no.10, 1917-22). Q r tl y is the same for the Latin name Cartilius and the name Cartili for this location might have the same origin. Also the feminine form Cartilia is attested in North-Africa (CIL VIII 5682; 21022).
3.The modern name Damous could have had a very old past?! Damusi is the name of the king of Qarti-Hadašt on
in 673/2, named by Asarhaddon and Assurbanipal (as: Da-mu-u-si/su). This name
is connected with Tammuz/Dumuzi, the equivalent of the Mesopotamian Adonis. In
Phoenician the name D ‘ m ’ š = Damu has given. Cyprus
The result of it all is that Nicolas Carayon does not include the place in his catalog: “Les ports Phéniciens et Puniques, Geomorphologie et infrastructures, Strassbourg, 2008). à Même si la situation maritime du site ménage des avantages portuaires naturels, les informations disponibles sont insuffisantes pour que l’on puisse intégrer la cite à ce catalogue.
If there was a Phoenician/Punic settlement then it must have been a very small provisional port of call. The distance to Gunugu in the east was not far away and therefore there was no necessity to make here a full equipped settlement despite the favourable harbour possibilities.
We lack here adequate further excavations.
K.Jongeling, Personal names in Neo-Punic inscriptions, Grongingen, 1973
Phoenicia, Leuven, OLA 127, 2004