Hershel Shanks

The Roman settlement at Chimtou, founded in 27 B.C., was populated largely by ex-legionnaires and convicted criminals (sentenced to work in the quarries until they died). The impressive ruins of the town’s second-century A.D. bridge still stand on the banks of the Mejerda River (shown here). Over 30 feet high, the bridge was originally attached to a water-driven flour mill—one of only two such water-driven mills known in Roman North Africa. Other ruins from Chimtou’s Roman period have also survived, including the town’s theater and slave camp, once home to an army of long-suffering quarry workers.