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云南快乐十分奖金表格:Economic resilience of Carthage during the Punic Wars: Insights from sediments of the Medjerda delta around Utica (Tunisia)
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How do we explain the exceptional economic resilience for more than a century and a half of the Carthaginian civilization during the Punic Wars? Based on eight deep cores taken in the Medjerda delta around the city of Utica in Tunisia, we show that the sustainable retreat of Carthage into its hinterland during this period of warfare provided the metal resources whose exploitation by the Carthaginians was sufficient to resist the Romans for so long. The earliest phase of mining activity recorded in the Utica sediments occurred during the Greco-Punic Wars (480–307 BC) and is coeval with the first minting of Punic coins at Carthage, from which point on the Carthaginian economy became increasingly monetized.
While the Punic Wars (264–146 BC) have been the subject of numerous studies, generally focused on their most sensational aspects (major battles, techniques of warfare, geopolitical strategies, etc.), curiously, the exceptional economic resilience of the Carthaginians in the face of successive defeats, loss of mining territory, and the imposition of war reparations has attracted hardly any attention. Here, we address this issue using a newly developed powerful tracer in geoarchaeology, that of Pb isotopes applied to paleopollution. We measured the Pb isotopic compositions of a well-dated suite of eight deep cores taken in the Medjerda delta around the city of Utica. The data provide robust evidence of ancient lead–silver mining in Tunisia and lay out a chronology for its exploitation, which appears to follow the main periods of geopolitical instability at the time: the Greco-Punic Wars (480–307 BC) and the Punic Wars (264–146 BC). During the last conflict, the data further suggest that Carthage was still able to pay indemnities and fund armies despite the loss of its traditional silver sources in the Mediterranean. This work shows that the mining of Tunisian metalliferous ores between the second half of the fourth and the beginning of the third century BC contributed to the emergence of Punic coinage and the development of the Carthaginian economy.
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Author contributions: H.D. and J.-P.G. designed research; H.D. and J.B.-T. performed research; H.D., E.P., J.-P.G., A.G., A.A., I.B.J., E.F., and A.I.W. carried out the field work; J.B.-T. contributed new reagents/analytic tools; H.D., E.P., J.B.-T., N.F., A.G., A.A., I.B.J., E.F., and A.I.W. analyzed data; and H.D., J.B.-T., E.F., and A.I.W. wrote the paper.
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
This article is a PNAS Direct Submission.
This article contains supporting information online at www.pnas.org/lookup/suppl/doi:10.1073/pnas.1821015116/-/DCSupplemental.
Published under the PNAS license.