Tunisia in northern Africa is one of our homeschool countries-of-the-week, so why not spend a few minutes today learning about one of Tunisia’s World Heritage Sites: the Punic Town of Kerkuane and its Necropolis.
One of the great military rivalries of the ancient world was the rivalry between Rome on the Italian peninsula and Carthage on the Mediterranean coast of northern Africa. The Carthaginians were called the Punic people by the Romans, after a variant form of the name Phoenician — the Carthaginians were one of the ancient Phoenician peoples of the Mediterranean:
The Punic Town of Kerkuane, located at the tip of Cape Bon on a cliff that dominates the sea, bears exceptional witness to Phoenician-Punic town planning. Contrary to what took place in Carthage, Tyre, or Byblos, no Roman city was [later] built on this Phoenician city [site], and its port, ramparts, residential districts, shops, workshops, streets, squares, temples, and necropolis clearly remain as they were in the 3rd century BC. The site of the Punic Town of Kerkuane was discovered in 1952. Excavations were carried out by the National Institute of Archaeology and Art. The earliest known testimonies at the site would date back to the 6th century BC, whereas the ruins, today visible at the site, date back to the end of the 4th and the first half of the 3rd century BC, and bear witness to sophisticated town planning.
The Necropolis of Arg el Ghazouani, located on a rocky hill less than one kilometer from the town, bears invaluable witness to Punic funerary architecture of this period; it is the most well preserved portion of the great necropolis of Kerkuane, the tombs of which are scattered throughout the coastal hills at the tip of Cape Bon. (UNESCO World Heritage Centre #332)
Kerkuane continues to be an active site of archaeological research today, and excavations are ongoing.
You can find a gallery of additional photos of the Punic Town of Kerkuane on the World Heritage Centre’s website.
World Heritage Sites are cultural or natural landmarks of international significance, selected for recognition by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. More than 1000 such sites have been recognized in over 160 countries, and we feature one every Wednesday, drawn from one of our homeschool countries-of-the-week. You can find a complete list of World Heritage Sites online at the World Heritage Centre and in Wikipedia.
The World Heritage Centre also has a free and comprehensive World Heritage education kit for teachers, as well as a wonderful full-color wall map of World Heritage Sites, available for the cost of shipping. Why not add them both to your own homeschool library. 🗺
What world treasures are you exploring in your homeschool this Hercules Term? 😊
❡ Books in the running brooks: You can always turn to your River Houses almanac, atlas, and history encyclopedia for more information about any of our countries-of-the-week. The almanac has profiles of all the nations of the world on pages 752–859; the endpapers of the atlas are indexes that will show you where all of the individual national and regional maps may be found; the history encyclopedia includes national histories on pages 489–599; and you can find additional illustrations, flags, and other mentions through the indexes in each of these volumes. For an ideal little lesson, just write the name of the Weekly World Heritage Site on your homeschool bulletin board, find its location in your atlas, read the WHC’s brief description aloud, look at a picture or two, and you’re done. Over the course of the year, without even realizing it, your students will absorb a wealth of new historical, geographical, and cultural information. 🇹🇳
❡ The great globe itself: This is one of our regular Homeschool States & Countries posts featuring historical and natural sites of international importance. Download a copy of our River Houses World Heritage Calendar and follow along with us as we tour the planet, and add your name to our weekly mailing list to get great homeschool teaching ideas delivered right to your mailbox all through the year. 🌍