The Byzantine fort at Ounga
Ounga, also known as Younga and Jounga, is an archaeological site on the Mediterranean coast of Tunisia, located 45 km (28 mi) south of Sfax along the Mediterranean coast. The area is also known for its oil fields.
Ounga was a Phoenician and Carthaginian colony under the name Māqōm Ḥadash (Punic: 𐤌𐤒𐤌𐤇𐤃𐤔, MQMḤDŠ, "New Place"). The coastal town was the intersection of the road from Carthage to Tacape and the road branching off to Sufetula.
After the Punic Wars, the area fell under Roman control. The name was latinized to Macomades. It was variously distinguished from the Macomades in present-day Algeria as Macomades Minores ("Lesser Macomades") during the early empire and as Macomades Iunci, Iunca, Lunci, or Lunca under the later empire.
The name of the city changed in the 4th century. In ancient times, Ounga was the site of Christian activity that produced various religious buildings. Accordingly, it maintained relations with other cities such as Carthage. Historians, such as Tunisian archaeologist Zainab Benzina, state that a representative of the city of Younga, the bishop Valentinianus, attended the Council of Carthage (412). In addition, the city hosted a provincial council in 524.
The citadel was identified in 1944 by French archaeologist Louis Poinsot as the place described by Arab geographers Al Bakri and Al-Idrissi under the name of Kasr er-Roum (Castle of the Romans). It was transformed in the 9th century by the Aghlabids, who modified the upper part of the walls. Poinssot identifies Younga as the new name of the city of Macomades Minores, also called Macomades Lunci or Lunca. The discovery in 1936 of a fragment of a milestone from the mid-3rd century close to Younga definitively confirmed the relationship.
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