Except for a
badly damaged theater, practically nothing remains of the
ancient town, which was a very important port in the
Roman period and no doubt even before. Ruins were
seen at the beginning of the French occupation but they
have disappeared under the modern town.
As with Rusguniae and Rusucurru, the root Rus
suggests a Punic settlement or Punicized native town. There
is, however, no trace of archaeological evidence. The
attribution of coins with a Punic legend to the town
In the Roman period Rusicada was a colony which
participated with Cirta, Milev, and Chullu in the so-called confederation of the IV colonies. It was one of
the confederation ports, together with Chullu and Stora.
The town was the coastal terminus of the road from
Cirta rebuilt by Hadrian, a road that facilitated the export of wheat from the surrounding region and from
Numidia. The town's role as a port explains connections
which inscriptions reveal among Rusicada and Rome and
Pozzuoli, as well as the rapid social climb of some of
the town's families during the course of the 1st c.
Thanks to the drawings of Ravoisié and Delamare
in the middle of the 19th c., we can still form an idea
of the town's monuments: cisterns and mausolea in the
immediate surroundings, the theater with its back against
the slope of a hill, an amphitheater installed in a gully.
A mithraeum and sculptures have also been found.
Many inscriptions and sculptures were kept in a local
museum, which was destroyed between 1954 and 1962.
The artifacts which it contained are in safekeeping.
S. Gsell, Atlas archéologique de l'Algérie
(1911) 8, no. 196; H. G. Pflaum, Inscriptions latines de l'Algérie
II (1957) no. 1-378.