The city of Lambaesis, the ancient capital of Numidia in Algeria is central to a new archæological research programme under the direction of Aïcha Malek (ENS, AOROC).
Aïcha Malek (ENS)
Location and historical summary
Lambaesis is a roman city built at the foot of the Aurès Mountains in eastern Algeria, 11 km from Batna. Originally a camp of Augustus’ 3rd Legion (81 AD), the town became the legion’s permanent base around 120 AD, and was later made the capital of Numidia under Severan dynasty. The town maintained its high status until the 4th century, before being slowly abandoned.
The richness of the surrounding agricultural land and the quality of the limestone rock in the area facilitated the construction of a monumental Upper city endowed with public buildings in keeping with its status as a capital. Furthermore, the town is also known for its prestigious “school” of mosaic makers, whose works were first uncovered in the 19th century.
The first excavations at Lambaesis began in the middle of the 19th century. By the beginning of the 20th century, the richness of the mosaics discovered here led to the construction of a museum at the site, where a selection of these works is displayed. In 2006, the Algerian authorities (CNRA) requested that new excavations take place. The team was directed by Aïcha Malek (ENS).
The various fieldwork seasons which have taken place since then have revealed new and spectacular mosaics. They also aim to complete the recording of the site and to make use of the historical excavation archives. A new project is planned for 2014 by the Algerian authorities. In addition to excavations, survey and specialist studies, the project will involve the training of interns.
How Eveha International Participates
National Centre for Archaeological Research (Algeria)
CNRS, UMR 8546-AOROC (France)