An ancient coastal city, situated on the bay of Hammamet and
at the edge of the fertile region of Sahel, Hadrumetum
drew its fortune from the advantages its position provided: the agriculture of its hinterland and Mediterranean commerce.
A town constantly inhabited and always lively, to
judge from the vestiges of antiquity buried under the
accumulation of strata, it offers to the visitor today
only a few ancient monuments: some paved with
mosaics, especially the catacombs, as well as some
traces brought to light by chance.
Few of the ruins have survived but the objects (ceramics, statues, inscriptions, and especially the mosaics)
have been preserved in the Bardo Museum at Tunis
and principally the Sousse Museum.
A Punic settlement, the city developed along the edge
of its harbor; only the tophet has been located. It was
partially excavated in 1944; the stelae and funerary
urns are exhibited in a room of the museum. Several
Punic tombs have also been discovered.
Having abandoned Carthage at the time of the last
Punic war, Hadrumetum was rewarded by Rome with
the status of free town. For its support of Pompey, it
was heavily fined by Caesar after his victory at Thapsus.
With the Empire, it experienced great economic development, evidence of which is found in the richness of its
houses and more particularly in its mosaics. The Vergil
mosaic is the most famous. This prosperity is explained
by the elevation of the town to the status of colony
L. Foucher, Hadrumetum
La maison des masques à Sousse
; Guide du
musée de Sousse2