The Enigma of the Great Thapsus Harbour Mole
Article first published online: 7 OCT 2013
© 2013 The Authors. International Journal of Nautical Archaeology © 2013 The Nautical Archaeology Society
International Journal of Nautical Archaeology
How to Cite
Davidson, D. P. and Yorke, R. A. (2013), The Enigma of the Great Thapsus Harbour Mole. International Journal of Nautical Archaeology. doi: 10.1111/1095-9270.12036
- Article first published online: 7 OCT 2013
On the East coast of Tunisia, between Sousse and Sfax, lie the scant remains of the ancient city of Thapsus, notable mainly for a battle fought in the civil war in 46 BC. Visits by the authors resulted in the discovery of one of the longest-known harbour moles in the entire Roman Empire. No ancient sources make reference to any work of such magnitude and the paper suggests that the harbour was never completed, but might have been started by the local emperors Gordianus, none of whom survived long enough to have executed such a project.