African Archaeological Review

, Volume 26, Issue 2, pp 137–154 | Cite as

The Locus of Carthage: Compounding Geographical Logic

  • Patrick Hunt
Original Article


North Africa’s Phoenician city of Carthage was above all a logical place from which the well-informed maritime Phoenicians colonized and controlled the Western Mediterranean. The leading important factors affecting the founding of Carthage were mostly geographical: overall centrality along the southern coast of the Western Mediterranean; proximity to the island bridge of Italy via Sicily; nascent oceanographic knowledge of water currents and wind gyres as well as shoals such as the Gulf of Sidra and the shelter of the Gulf of Tunis itself; and important local topography and religious landmarks.


Carthage Geography North Africa Maritime Topography Mediterranean Wind and current gyres Navigation Sacred landmarks 



Acknowledgements are made to the National Geographic Society Expeditions Council for supporting my Tunisian fieldwork in 2007–2008, especially to Rebecca Martin, Director, also to Adria LaViolette and to the careful readers of drafts of this article as well as to Al Duncan at Stanford for images.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Stanford UniversityStanfordUSA

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