The ancient art of Tunisian Ceramics

Salloum, Habeeb
November 2003
Middle East;Nov2003, Issue 339, p60
After establishing the city of Carthage, located in modern day Tunisia, the art of the manufacture of ceramics and mosaics became a flourishing industry across North Africa. Subsequently, the Punic artisans in the Carthaginian lands evolved the manufacture of natural pottery and ceramics to incorporate new forms, including glossy black and red plates and amphoras with small pointed tops, excellent for transporting olive oil and wine by sea. The Carthaginians were also responsible for inventing the world's earliest true mosaics. The manufacture of pottery in Tunisia was further embellished in the 17th century following the arrival of skilled earthenware craftsmen exiled from the Iberian Peninsula. In modern Tunisia manufacturers of earthenware products are to be found throughout the country but the ancient craft is practiced on a large scale in two main centers, Nabeul on the Cap-Bon Peninsula and Guellala on the island of Djerba. It is almost a glimpse of a medieval world that never fails to ensnare the modern day tourist in its trap.


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