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PORT ROMAIN (Kherbet Ramoul) Algeria.

A small settlement on the coast between Mostaganem and Ténès, ca. 274 km W of Algiers, on the ancient route from Caesarea (Cherchel) to Portus Magnus (Bettioua, ex-St. Leu). The excavations have been too limited to uncover the whole. The name is erroneous, since it was not in fact a port, but a quarry at the edge of the sea; one sees only the traces of blocks extracted from a cliff on which the ruins lie.

Near the road, a large rock is hollowed out into a funerary chamber with bench, of the Punic type. Further W, backed up against the rock, are the remains of a fairly important structure. To the N, and close to the sea, is a Christian basilica of perhaps the end of the 5th c., its apse flanked by two square rooms; this is the simplest type of rural church in the region, found also at Cap Ivi, 68 km farther W. Clandestine excavations have brought to light there a roofed tomb with a mosaic representing a standing figure, arms stretched out, by a candelabrum, on the model of the tomb mosaics of Tunisia, in particular Thabraca. Beside this structure are small baths and a cement-lined basin filled with fish scales and bones, possibly a garum factory. To the NW is a fine private house, of good masonry, opening to the E with a set-back porch giving on a concealed entry overlooked by a balcony; the asymmetrical construction is ordered around a courtyard open to the sky and bordered by a portico supported by four corner pillars and by columns, two on the long sides, one on the short ends. To the S are four rooms, to the N two double rooms; to the W finally a suite with a semicircular oecus adorned with mosaic and marble opus sectile, and traces of wall paintings.


J. Marcillet-Jaubert, “Mosaïque tombale de P. R.,” Libyca 3 (1955) 281-86P; J. Lassus, Libyca 5 (1957) 126-29PM.


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