Good morning, we are continuing with our exploration of the Ancient World by taking a look at Carthage. This has been an excellent series to view and review over the past few days. I would hope that there could be a second series in the future. There have to be additional ancient metropolises that deserve a good documentary. The run time for this documentary is 52:08.
Carthage was Rome’s greatest rival. It was a Phoenician trading base in the Mediterranean Sea and was a city of seafarers. Carthage was the greatest trading base in the Mediterranean Sea. It was a city that inspired envy and hatred around the world. It is where Africa meets Europe, where the past and present collide. In 180 BC Marco is going to go on a voyage that will have an impact on his life.
Today, Carthage is a suburb of Tunis. Its power was greatly diminished over the centuries. In 800 BC, the Phoenicians founded Carthage as a trading post. From here, they could control the western Mediterranean trade. It was rumored that the Phoenicians made their way to the Americas. Carthage was the meeting place for people all around the world. It was the New York of the Ancient World.
Outside the gates, a Roman aqueduct stands. It carried water to the new city that the Romans built on the ruins of Carthage. The huge aqueduct demonstrated Rome’s power and its claim to North Africa. It brought water to the huge baths. The baths showed Roman wealth and provide a meeting place for the people. The Romans stamped their mark on Carthage, which covered the remains of the ancient city founded by the Phoenicians.
There have been few findings regarding the daily lives of ordinary people. Archeologists have discovered a burn layer; this seems to hint at some sort of catastrophe that hit Carthage. The most important remains are the stone pillars. These stone pillars were placed in religious places and gravesites. Thousands have been found and preserved. They are priceless evidence of the distant past. On these pillars is the Phoenician language, a precursor to the Greek Alphabet.
Bones of a man were discovered in one of the graves. The bones show that there was no malnutrition. He was well-fed and strong. Was this man a merchant or was he a sailor? The trading port was the heart of the city. It was a marketplace where people could buy and sell. Anything was possible in Carthage and you could get rich if you were bold.
Marco was one of these bold sailors. He was on his way to sail the Atlantic and down the African coast to find new sources of gold and tins to bring back. He hopes to make enough money to marry his sweetheart. The sea was full of danger and many sailors never made their way back. Even if the ocean did not get the sailor, there were pirates and slave catchers who would get the captured sailor. Would Marco make his way back to marry his sweetheart?
So how did ordinary people live in Carthage? How was the city organized? One archaeologist searched for the ancient city walls. Many have tried before him and failed. With careful plotting and scanning, he may have a theory as to where the ancient walls were. The walls would have been built to protect the city from raids from ancient tribes. Over one thousand people lived in the city. There was no access to water in the city, so the city builders had to plan for drinkable water. Thousands of cisterns were discovered and each house had a cistern that was deep. These cisterns were filled with water that came from the roofs and flowed into the cisterns. This would have given the people a secure water supply.
Carthage was a true metropolis of the ancient world. It was sustained by fishing and trade. Trade made the merchants rich and powerful. Why did it become the envy of the world? So why did it come to an end? Tune into the rest of the episode to find out.
This would be a fantastic documentary to show for a history class. It went into dept about Carthage and showed details that you never really hear in the classroom. You always heard that the Romans captured Carthage and salted the earth. Now that I said that, I would show this episode to a history class.
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