Carthage Musuem has enormous potential. When will it achieve it?

If you’re visiting Carthage, it’s considered appropriate to start at the Museum, on the peak of Byrsa Hill and with a spectacular view of the Gulf of Tunis.

Tunisia’s Ministry of Cultureboasts: “…this museum contains the largest collection of objects from the site of Carthage and covers the Phoenician-Punic, the Roman-African and the Arab-Moslem periods.”

Yes. Sans context. Or explanation. Or a chronological chart for the lay visitor to make sense of what they’re seeing.

The collection looks like it’s in temporary housing. The displays seem as if they were unfinished attempts at a narrative and that the storyteller gave up halfway through.

It’s fair to say that the Museum hasn’t done a great job of telling the story to the lay visitor. But it’s still worth a visit, if only to puzzle over the treasures within.

(Tomorrow: The Acropolium, Carthage. African ambition; relics of Crusader zeal)

Originally published at on December 27, 2015.

PhD. Journalism by trade & inclination. Sign up for free email updates on email me at

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