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A view from ruins of the Capitoline Temple dedicated to Jupiter .
The city of Timgad was founded as a military colony by Trajan in A.D. 100. Timgad was a city built for soldiers who gained citizenship by fighting for Rome. The reward for enduring a harsh military life was the prospect of leading an elegant life in Timgad.
The ruins are noteworthy for representing one of the best extant examples of the grid plan (the streets are set at a right angle to one another) that is now in use in almost every major city in the world. A notable feature of Timgad is that all the houses are the same size. Dividing land equally among Romans and Africans and promoting equality would appeal to all citizens of the city.
The water and sewage systems of city are especially remarkable. When visiting Timgad, you can still see the bath houses, library and Trajan's Triumphal Arch still holds the entrance for the adventurous wanderer. The theater is still in such good shape that performances are still held there. In the corner of the Public Square are the remains of some ancient graffiti which reads: “To hunt, bathe, play games and laugh. This is life!”.
In the 7th century the town was destroyed by the Berbers. The city disappeared from history until its excavation in 1881. At the time of its founding, the area surrounding the city was a fertile agricultural area, about 1000 meters above sea level. The encroachment of the Sahara on the ruins was ironically the principal reason why the town is so well preserved. Because no new settlements were founded on the site after the 7th Century, the town was partially preserved under sand up to a depth of approximately one meter until it was excavated. Timgad was inscribed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1982.

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Additional Photos by Ecmel Erlat (ecmel) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 127 W: 0 N: 234] (1686)
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