The site of Kerkouane (ancient name unknown) is a unique presentation of a Phoenician-Punic city. Rediscovered in 1952, excavators realized that site was both well-preserved and carefully planned. Streets, houses, industrial areas, fortifications, and even a temple were laid out in a patterned way. Life here appears comfortable; private baths and inner plumbing were visible amid houses with lovely opus signinum floors. Fishing, agriculture, and purple-dye production fueled the local economy.
Dates of use between the 6th c and the mid-3rd century BC were proposed.
Following its abandonment during the course of the First Punic War (ca 255 BC?), Kerkouane was not rebuilt, and hence, not "Romanized" as were neighboring Punic settlements in North Africa. It has, therefore, a cultural integrity that makes it special for Punic studies. Not surprisingly, Kerkouane appears in UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites.