Archaeological Museum

Top choice museum in El Jem

Image by Dallas and John Heaton Getty Images

A 1km walk from the El Jem Amphitheatre (follow the signs), this museum showcases an exceptional collection of Roman mosaics. All are richly coloured, in excellent condition and sensitively displayed. Highlights include a gory array of scenes from the colosseum and multiple images of a drunken Dionysus. At the rear of the museum is the House of Africa, an AD 170 Roman villa from the heart of El Jem that was excavated in the 1990s and transferred here for display.

The House of Africa owes its name to an impressive medallion mosaic depicting the Goddess Africa, a moody-looking young woman symbolising the Roman province of Africa (by the hide and two elephant tusks she wears as headgear).

Behind the House of Africa is an area where Roman villas have been excavated – you can wander around the remains, which feature some mosaics in situ.