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The foundations of the Antonine Baths in Carthage

Completed in the 2nd century AD, destroyed by the Vandals in 439 AD, it was the largest bath complex outside Rome

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The Capitole dominated the Roman Empire city of Dougga, built on top of Thugga,

the Numidian city that had backed the losing side in a Roman civil war

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Front & Back views of the minaret of the Muslim mosque in the village of Testour (northern Tunisia)

Built in the 17th Century by cooperating Muslim & Jewish refugees from Andalucia (Southern Spain)

Hence the two Stars of David (right photo) and the backward clock (left) hoping to "turn back the clock"

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A Muslim cemetary at Monaster

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The third largest Colosseum in the Roman Empire (3rd Century AD, seating 30,000, at El-Djem)

Where would-be Roman Emperior Gordian is said to have committed suicide in 238 AD upon defeat

And where the Berber warrior princess Al-Kahina made her last stand against the Arab forces (late 7th Century)

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A passage to the upper seating levels (cheap seats) of the Colosseum at El-Djem

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The Great Courtyard of the Great Mosque of Kairouan

The fourth holiest site in Islam and the oldest mosque in North Africa

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A butcher in the Medina of Kairouan proves that his beef is fresh

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A back street in the Medina of Kairouan

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There are countless back streets in the Medina of Kairouan

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The remains of the Church of St. Servus, in Sufetula

Built by Christians in the 4th Century AD on top of Roman ruins

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Into the Sahara Desert, crossing Chott El-Jerid:

A 5000 sq/km dry salt lake (with local artwork)

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Our camel takes us further into the Saharan sands

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Lieschen in front of a particularly large sand dune, showing the tracks from our arrival

"Star Wars" and "The English Patient" were both filmed nearby

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Our tented camp in the Sahara Desert at sunset

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We should have kept our camels:

Our 4WD gets (briefly) stuck in  the Saharan sand dunes

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One of the many hilltop villages on the fringes of the Sahara

With cave-like living quarters dug out of the soft rock

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Numerous Ksours (fortified granaries) were built first by Berbers and then by Arabs,

on the fringes of the Sahara, to enable survival in bad crop years

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The men's Prayer Hall in the El-Ghriba Synagogue in Jerba contains the world's oldest Sefer Torah

And is the site of a 2002 Al Qaeda bombing in relatively peaceful Tunisia (at least before January 2011)


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� Peter Bierstedt