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    Pupput, also spelled “Putput”, “Pudput”, “Pulpud” and “Pulpite” in Latin, sometimes located in Souk el-Obiod ou Souk el-Abiod (Arabic: أبيض‎ or “white market”), is a Colonia in the Roman province of Africa which has been equated with an archaeological site in modern Tunisia. It is situated on the coast near the town of Hammamet, between the two wadis of Temad (or el-Thimad) to the north and Moussa to the south. Much of the Pupput is buried under modern holiday developments which have been built over the major part of the site.

    This agricultural region, densely occupied in classical antiquity, has probably been inhabited since the 5th century BC by the Berbers and Carthaginians. There is a sanctuary and inscription at the ancient Punic city of Thinissut, located at modern Bir Bouregba, but no Punic remains have been identified on the site of Pupput itself.

    A settlement existed here as early as the 1st century BC, and this may have been of Berber–Punic origin. It was a simple vicus in Carthaginian territory at the time of the Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius (2nd century AD). The Roman politician Salvius Julianus is thought to have been born in the village and it may be due to him that Pupput became an honorary Colonia under the Emperor Commodus (185-192). At this time the city was probably a satellite town of its neighbour Neapolis. The earliest documentary record of the city was in 168 when it was promoted to the status of a municipium governed by an elected council. It appears to have gained in importance during the 2nd and 3rd centuries, when it expanded considerably and a significant number of public monuments were built. According to an inscription preserved in the Bardo National Museum in Tunis which was dedicated to the 4th century Emperor Licinius, the Roman name of the city was “Colonia Aurelia Commoda Pia Felix Augusta Pupput”.

    November, 2022

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