Institute of Archaeology


Bulla Regia Archaeological Project

Mobility, identity and community in Christian North Africa.

The site of Bulla Regia,Tunisia provides an exceptional opportunity to explore the changing urban society of North Africa in late antiquity. An affluent city in the fertile Medjerda valley that served as the capital of a Numidian kingdom, it is famous today for its well-preserved early Roman forum, temples, baths, theatre, elaborate water-system and unusual elite houses with subterranean, mosaic-clad rooms dating from the 1st-4th centuries AD. The city, however, has a far longer history than that suggested by these scattered Roman remains.

The Bulla Regia project combines multiple techniques - remote sensing, photogrammetry, excavation and bioarchaeological analysis - to reconstruct the urban development of Bulla Regia from its Numidian origins to its abandonment in the middle ages and to understand the diet, nutrition, health, lifestyle, origins and mobility of its late antique inhabitants.

The Bulla Regia project offers an exceptional opportunity to understand religion, social identity and daily life in the city within the increasingly Christian world of late antiquity. It will produce a unique dataset from a transformative, yet often neglected, period of North African history and in so doing challenge existing models of late antique urbanism in North Africa, the role and function of churches and fortifications in the late antique landscape, and the demography, health and well-being of late antique North African populations.

Related outputs

  • Fenwick, C. (2020), Early Islamic North Africa: A New Perspective. London.
  • Chaouali, M., C. Fenwick and D. Booms (2018), ‘Bulla Regia I: A new church and Christian cemetery’, Libyan Studies 49: 187-97.
  • Anderson, G., Fenwick, C. and Rosser-Owen, M. (eds.) (2017), The Aghlabids and Their Neighbors: Art and Material Culture in Ninth-century North Africa. Leiden.
  • Fenwick, C. (2013), ‘From Africa to Ifrīqiya: Settlement and Society in Early Medieval North Africa (650–800)’, Al-Masāq 25: 9-33.


  • Loeb Classical Library Foundation
  • Society for Libyan Studies