First a Carthaginian trading post and then a Roman colony in
Mauretania Caesariensis, the site is on a low peninsula
and a small coastal plain enclosed by a ring of hills,
about half-way between Bône and Algiers. The Roman
colony, founded by Augustus (Plin. HN
5.21), is mentioned by Ptolemy (4.2.2), in the Antonine Itinerary
the Peutinger Table
, and the Ravenna Geographer. It
was a fairly important port until the Byzantine period.
Six roads went out from it.
The monuments found date mostly to the Punic period. Essentially, these consist of necropoleis cut into
the rock coastline up to 2 km to the W of the peninsula. There are graves at ground level and rock-cut
tombs. The vaults average 2 x 1.50 x 1.25 m. Entries are
shut by slabs. The varied grave goods which they contain
(amphorae, jewelry, pottery) were once attributed to
the 6th and 5th c. B.C., but now have been brought forward to the 4th c.
The remains of town walls (which have now disappeared) belonged to the Roman period. An aqueduct
comes from the S. To the SE of the knoll of St. Ferdinand were public baths. They have produced Dionysiac
and ornamental mosaics, now at the Skikda Museum
(formerly Philippeville), and sculptures (a satyr's head
at the Algiers Museum). Other artifacts include statuettes, lamps, and votive stelae (at the Skikda Museum
and the Louvre).
S. Gsell, Atlas archéologique de l'Algérie
(1911) 7, no. 77; J. and P. Alquier, “Tombes phéniciennes à Djidjelli (Algérie),” RA
31 (1930) 1-17;
M. Astruc, “Nouvelles fouilles à Djidjelli,” Revue Africaine
80 (1937); M. Leglay, Saturne Africain. Monuments
II. M. LEGLAY