Ten new archeological sites in southern Tunisia were discovered thanks to Chinese space-based remote sensing technology, Tunisian authorities said Thursday.
The archaeological sites, dating back to ancient Roman times, are located in three Tunisian provinces — Gafsa, Tataouine and Medenine, said Tunisian Culture Minister Mohamed Zine El-Abidine at a press conference.
The discoveries included some Roman forts, limes, a water supply system, three giant basins and a cemetery.
The limes are in some ways walls and forts that surrounded rivers of ancient Roman cities for protection.
The findings were made by a team of Chinese, Tunisian, Italian and Pakistani scientists using the Chinese technology for the first time in the country under a program named the Digital Belt and Road (DBAR).
The culture minister told Xinhua that Chinese technological progress could serve the enormous millenary heritage.
“This is win-win with China, which is a highly developed country in technological, economic and strategic terms,” he said.
“All that can be done on the civilization level will be linked with technological means that will increasingly have the ability to detect and identify archaeological sites in addition to its uses in the environment and geology,” he added.
H Guo Huadong, chairman of the DBAR and an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said China-Tunisia cooperation will create great opportunities for public and private sectors to contribute to the development and exchanges of human scientific relationships through cultural communication.
“Our cooperation with Tunisia will help revive the Silk Road, in order to be a connection point between Asia, Europe and Africa. Such a Chinese initiative will promote development and prosperity for all our nations,” Guo said.
Fawzi Mahfoudh, director of the National Institute of Heritage of Tunisia, said the cooperation aims to “take full advantage of the important digital technologies for all that is underground … in order to achieve our digital national map.”
“China has an enormous potential and a know-how in this area through sophisticated techniques that offer high-definition products,” he added.