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Djémila — Roman city in Algeria

Jam - Roman city

Djémila — Roman city in North Africa, about 50 killometrah south from the modern city of Setif in Algeria. It was founded in 96 BC under the name Kuikul by Emperor Nerva as a fortified military camp. Originally the city is an almost perfect square, where the two main streets are perpendicular to each other and divide the territory into four equal parts — as is done in Timgad, a typical ancient Roman planned construction. The city was inhabited by veteran legionnaires, who obtained the piece of land for longevity.

During the following 100 years the city growed, there were built Forum, as well as several temples, an amphitheater for 5 thousand people, market, bathhouse. The first luxury mansions of Djémila date from the end of II century BC, indicating the growth of welfare of the inhabitants and the beginning of social stratification. In the middle of the III century, a series of dry years leads to starvation, but the city quickly overcame crisis and to the IV century was rapidly increasing again. At that time, there was a treatment of active people to Christianity and was built Dzhemile Baptistry and the Basilica. Around the city there were olive groves and fields of yellow wheat.

The story of the city finished in the year 431, when it was occupied by the Vandals. In 533, when it was reconquered by the Byzantines, people left it — the climate began to change, rains become rare and desertification started.

The first archeological research of the city began in 1909. There was found a Roman sculpture and the remains of the beautiful mosaics — all this can now be seen at the Museum of Cemil. Also, majestic Roman baths, triumphal arch of Emperor Caracalla, an amphitheater and a graceful colonnade that runs along the main street, preserved well. In 1982 the entire complex of the Roman city Djemila was included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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