4 - The Roman Colony Room 
A glimpse of Room 4
Back To Map Room 4 of the Museum - The Roman Colony Room
21 Giallo Antico Corniches from Bulla Regia 
22 Simitthus in the Roman Province
Roman Bridge Inscription 23
Simitthus and Roman Roads
Dedication inscription of Traian´s "new" bridge crossing the river Bagrada at Simitthus, the second Roman bridge.  (The first one was built perhaps already under Emperor Tiberius, being destroyed down to its foundation by floods or earthquakes.) 
This inscription dates the new bridge into the Emperor's 16th tribunicial power ( Dec. 111 to  Dec. 112 C.E.).  He is already acclaimed "optimus Augustus" (by the African military?) although the Senate only awarded him this title as late as 2nd half of August. 114 C.E. 
The completely new bridge (a fundamentis) was the work of "his soldiers" (militumsuorum) and at his own expense (pecuniasua).  The 'Area' page shows a view of the bridge's ruins.
24
Economy of Simitthus
The marble quarries were property of the Emperors, but the wealth of the citizens in Coloni Iulia Augusta Numidica Simitthus (CIANS) as throughout the African urban sphere depended on agriculture. African barley and wheat was vital for the masses of the city of Rome.  Chimtou boasts one of the two water driven turbine flour mills of Roman Africa hitherto known. (Motor pump and water-driven scale model in Room 4 by G.and J.Röder). Next to it a Roman hour-glass mill which has also been reset to function for the museum visitor. 
 
Athlete Boy 25
Athlete Boy (Dresden type)
There are more than a dozen copies in the galleries of Ancient Art throughout the world of this fourth cent. BCE statue of an athlete boy.  It originated in the studio of Athenian scultpor Polycletes in the 4th 
century B.C.E. The Chimtou copy is the only one known to have a preserved arm. Judging from its pose it once held a (copper?) strigilis, a crescent- shaped scratching instrument to clean the body from oily dust when one sorted from the gymnasium. In the right hand, consequently, he must have had his globular gymnastic oil bottle. The subject, known as the Dresden type, is a Roman time copy of Aegaean insular marble and might have served as image of a youthful god in the 2nd and 3rd cent.C.E.
26 Bacchus Mosaic 
27 View of Simitthus. A view of 3rd century C.E.Simitthus, painted by J.-C-Golvin.
28 Door of a Countryside Sanctuary 
29
Alexander Severus as Hercules
Severus as Hercules a)
An emperor (Commodus? Alexander Severus?) as the God Hercules.
A bit over 90 cms, half life-size, must have measured the terra cotta-group of an emperor with sword and lionęs skin,accompanied by the Cerynitian hinde, found in his excavations by Friedrich Rakob. In the museum it was set into a small apse, vaulted by a tube vault (see drawing) by architect S.Storz as an experimental part of his research on this ancient building technique. He found the earliest example of such vaulting in Africa in the central prison hall of the quarry slave labor camp at Simitthus (3rd quarter of 2nd cent.AD), before it became so typical for 3rd to 5th cent.AD North Africa in the vaults of the carcer in the slave labor camp of the Simitthus marble quarries. He is of the opinion that this technique was originally applied in vaulting pottery kilns. He kindly provided the following comment:
Sketches of Tube Vaults b)
The earliest known example of a vault using terra cotta tubes was found at Morgantina in Sicily in a round room (laconicum) of a small bath building from the end of 3rd or beginning of 2nd cent.B.C. The first Roman construction tubes come perhaps from a house of 1st.cent.AD in Pompeii, but the evidence of their vaulting function is still in doubt. In the 2nd.cent. AD the use of tubes for vaults became an established building technique. Soon spreading from Roman Africa as a center towards the West it is even exported throughout much of the western Roman Empire such as to Italy, Late Roman Spain, France, England, Hungary, Croatia, with some examples even in Palestine and Syria. The Roman non-military province of Africa Proconsularis persists as the focus while in England and Syria their rare appearance is linked to military constructions. Thus, the Late Roman army may perhaps be responsible for its exportation to the armed periphery. Tube vaulting originally was introduced into the Roman architecture to serve as mouldings for vaulting in opus caementitium at a period facing an increasing lack of wood. Soon Roman architects found out that tube vaulting allowed to devel new forms of rich composite vaulting by domes which escaped archaeologists and architectural students until this recent research.
Regional God 
 
 

 
 

30
Regional Roman Sculpture  
Regional sculpture of Africa Proconsularis with its Berber, Punic-Hellenistic and Roman influence.  It has not yet been studied in detail as in other Roman provinces.  A half life-size regional representation of a god, holding a bird in his left and an iron trident in his right (not attached)was found a mile from the Roman  Colonia Iulia Augusta Numidica Simitthensium towards the neighbouring colony of Thuburnica. 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
A rotund of indigenous stelae from a regional countryside sanctuary to commemorate pilgrimages with sacrifices of rams and perhaps acts of 
gratitude for healings.

31 The Sacred Hill of Chimtou 
32 Graves of Roman Chimtou 
33 Benefactors of Roman Chimtou 
A cemetery aisle 34
Roman Funeral Monuments 
Numerous gravestones of 1st to 4th cent.C.E., most of them with revealing inscriptions, tell us about the Roman population of the Simitthus area.
 
 Please click on the small map icon to get back to the main map.
 
Show Room 3 Show Room 5