Abstract and Keywords
Limited archaeological knowledge of pre-Roman North Africa belies the significant diversity of peoples who inhabited the region and facilitated contact between it and other areas of the Mediterranean in the first millennium BC. This article notes the much more recent actions of nationalist players in the post-independence era: Arabist appropriation of ‘Numidian’ and Berber heritage as part of Algerian national identity, in spite of ongoing dissident Berber movements; and before the 2011 Tunisian Revolution, the former Ben-Ali regime’s use of state-sponsored propaganda aimed at appropriating Punic identity to its own ends and the restriction of Punic research to Tunisian archaeologists. Although more scientific archaeological information has begun to emerge in recent years, the archaeological knowledge, particularly concerning Berber and ‘Phoenicio–Punic’ civilisations, is still limited and remains substantially reliant on historical sources of Greek and Roman origin.
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