Bulla Regia II: Excavations in the Christian cemetery

Corisande Fenwick*, Moheddine Chaouali, Michelle Alexander, Dirk Booms, Samantha L. Cox, Alice Di Muro, Constanze Höpken, Guy Hopkinson, Heike Möller, Efthymia Nikita, Anita Radini, Nicholas Ray

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper reports the preliminary results from three seasons of excavations in the Christian cemetery by the Tunisian-British Bulla Regia Archaeological Project. In 2017-2019, excavations in, and around, the Late Antique church in the western cemetery uncovered a complex funerary landscape with a variety of different tomb types, including mosaic caisson tombs, simple masonry tombs, amphora tombs, and earthen graves and multiple funerary mensae. The mosaics, inscriptions and finds (ceramics, glass, coins) studied in 2022 support a fourth to seventh century date for the main period of use of the cemetery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-134
Number of pages12
JournalLibyan Studies
Publication statusPublished - 23 Nov 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We acknowledge, in particular, the permission and support of the Institut National du Patrimoine and its Director, Prof. Faouzi Mahfoudh and the financial support of the British Institute for Libyan and Northern African Studies for this Flagship Project. We are also very grateful to the Garde Nationale of Jendouba, who ensured our security in the field. Efthymia Nikita's contribution to this research was supported by the European Regional Development Fund and the Republic of Cyprus through the Research Promotion Foundation (People in Motion project: EXCELLENCE/1216/0023). Anita Radini's contribution was supported by the Wellcome Trust (‘A taste of work’: Grant Number 209869/Z/17/Z). Field seasons took place in 2017 (7–22 September), 2018 (5–28 September) and 2019 (5 September–5 October) with the following team: Sihem Aloui Naddari (University of Tunis), Walid Ammouri (INP), Amira Absidi (University of Tunis), Mehdi Arifa (University of Tunis), Dr Dirk Booms (Assistant Director, Roman architecture specialist), Mahres Brinsi (archaeologist, INP), Armina Ben Rbeh (University of Tunis), Rayhen Boukil (University of Kairouan) Dr Gabriella Carpentiero (building specialist, University of Siena), Dr Moheddine Chaouali (Co-Director, INP), Najd Chalghoumi (anthropologist, INP), Dr Samantha Cox (anthropologist, UPenn), Malek Dhaouia (University of Jendouba), Jacopo Dolci (archaeologist, Milan), Dr Corisande Fenwick (Co-Director, UCL), Olfa Gorgueb (anthropologist, INP), Guy Hopkinson (GIS specialist, UCL), Dr Gaygysz Jorayev (photogrammetry specialist, UCL), Raluca Lazerescu (archaeologist, UCL), Marie Middleton (archaeologist, UCL), Rihab Mzoughi (University of Tunis), Manel Nasri (University of Tunis), Dr Efythmia Nikita (anthropologist, Cyprus Institute), Marie Pype (archaeologist), Dr Anita Radini (dental calculus, York), Dr Nicholas Ray (archaeologist, University of Leicester), Dr Aleida Ten Harkel (archaeologist, University of Oxford), Sonia Wertani (University of Tunis), Fouzia Zoghlami (University of Tunis). Our work was facilitated by a team of 18 workmen managed by Mounir Abidi and our food provided by Olfa Abidi. Isotopic analysis took place at BioArCh at the University of York by Alice Di Muro and Prof. Michelle Alexander with the support of Matthew Von Tersch (mass spectrometry). Finds analysis took place in 2022–2023 by Dr Heike Möller (ceramics, DAI-Berlin) and Dr Constanze Höpken (glass, Köln). We are grateful to Dr Tom Fitton for his assistance with plans and figures.

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© 2023 Cambridge University Press. All rights reserved.


  • amphora
  • inscriptions
  • late antique church
  • mosaic
  • tomb

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