The archaeological site of Oudhna is located 30 kilometers south-west of Tunis, in the valley of Oued Miliane, known since Antiquity for its fertile soil. Human occupation of the region dates back to pre-Roman times, but the foundation of the town took place at the end of the first century B.C. when a new colony was created, inhabited by veterans of the 13thRoman legion. This colony, which was named Uthina, reached its peak during the second century AD, especially under Emperor Hadrian. In medieval times, the new occupants of the site did not create a new town and merely exploited the existing ancient monuments. This period turned over large quantities of Islamic ceramics, which date mainly from the 10th-11th centuries.
This site is among the largest and most important archaeological sites in Tunisia and counts dozens of monuments, only a few of which have been unearthed. Among the most important are the capitol, the main temple of the city which was dedicated to the Capitoline Triad: Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva. This sacred building is made up of three distinct temples: the main one, dedicated to Jupiter, flanked by two secondary ones, those of Juno and Minerva, all of which open onto the forum. In addition to the temple, set up on the first floor and considered among the largest temples in North Africa, there are also two other floors.
The amphitheater, partially dugintoa hill on the city limits on the northeast side,ranks third in Tunisia after those of Carthage and Thysdrus, with a capacity of about 16 thousand audiences.
The large public thermal baths consist of two levels: an upper level, now open to the public, where the various hot and cold rooms are located, while the lower level is dedicated to the storage of wood for heating. It is a large building of symmetrical plan and imperial type with a surface area of about 10,000 sq.m.
Several houses paved with mosaics have been unearthed on this site. The most important is the Ikarios House, which covers 2300 sq.m. and contains more than 30 rooms. At present, the visitor can see a copy of a mosaic representing a scene of rural life in an estate, while a threshold pavement overlooking the reception hall depicts a scene of hunting with a hound. The floor of this room is adorned with a beautiful pavement with a scene of the grape harvest and in the middle, the emblem represents a mythological scene: the donation of vines to Ikarios by Dionysus.
Another equally important house is that of Industrius,its owner, whose name appears on a mosaic of a marine scene depicting Venus in the middle of two Nymphs.
The town has been equipped with several public hydraulic monuments. First of all, the aqueduct supplying the city with water, including the large public baths, the large public cisterns located to the southwest of the forum; the large cistern of the aqueduct, and the large cistern of the forum, which boundsthis public square to the east.
There are also private baths: those of the Laberii family, whose name is inscribed on a mosaic that paved the floor of the frigidarium (cold room) and represents a mythological scene: Orpheus charming the animals, and the Baths of the Fishing Cupids, near the House of Ikarios.