Inside Timgad, The Roman Ruins That Were Buried In Algeria’s Desert For 1,000 Years
Inside Timgad, The Roman Ruins That Were Buried In Algeria’s Desert For 1,000 Years
The city of Timgad was built by Emperor Trajan in 100 A.D. Though it was sacked by Berber tribes shortly after Rome fell, its ruins still stand in Northern Africa today.

After its fall, the city of Timgad was buried in the Sahara Desert for 1,000 years before it was rediscovered.

The territory of the Roman Empire stretched beyond the borders of Europe, all the way to Africa. Timgad was one of the vast empire's colonial cities.

Built around 100 AD, Timgad was founded by Emperor Trajan, who ruled between 98 AD and 117 AD. The city was built in modern-day Algeria as "Colonia Marciana Ulpia Traiana Thamugadi" in memory of the emperor's mother Marcia, eldest sister Ulpia Marciana, and father Marcus Ulpius Traianus.

Today the site is also called Thamugas or Thamugadi.

Timgad's construction served two purposes. First, the Roman colony housed veterans of Trajan's mighty armed forces. Secondly, it functioned as a show of Roman power against the Indigenous Berber tribes that populated the northern and western regions of the continent.

After its founding, Timgad quickly became an important center of commerce and trade. Its residents enjoyed peace and prosperity for several centuries.

But the peace wouldn't last. Timgad's good fortune took a turn after it was ransacked by Vandals, Germanic people building their own kingdom in North Africa, in the 5th century.

The Vandal invasion led to economic instability in Timgad. The city also struggled with mismanagement by various Roman emperors, the lack of an independent army, and a loss of territory.

These factors led to Timgad's collapse.

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