Africa Proconsularis, Volumes 1 & 2 (Hardback)
Regional Studies in the Segermes Valley of Northern Tunisia
What was the relationship between city and country in the Roman Empire? The writings which have been preserved show an enormous empire, divided into "cells", each with a city at its centre. But the written sources are few, and focus mainly on the cities of Italy; they do not tell what life was like in the Roman provinces. Through systematic studies of the ancient landscape in Northern Tunisia, archaeologists have reconstructed the day-to-day history and economic activity of the rural population around the city of Segermes. Over 100 persons have been involved in this joint Danish-Tunisian project. The findings presented in these two volumes indicate that in Roman times, the valley was given over to intensive cultivation of wheat and olives, maintained at a high output level by means of extensive irrigation works. The population was dense and, surprisingly, reached its peak between 350 and 550 AD, a period of economic decline elsewhere in the Roman Empire.