Tidbits from Tunisia

Posted by David Eicher
on Friday, April 22, 2011

As many of you know, Astronomy magazine took a tour group of 22 to Tunisia to hunt for meteorites and explore historical and archaeological wonders back in March. We found abundant, albeit small, meteorites at Tataouine. En route to our meteorite hunt, we visited a famous Star Wars filming site, the ancient Berber fortified granary Ksar Ouled Soltane, which was used as a set for Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.

Astronomy's travel group in Tunisia at the Ksar Ouled Soltane near Tataouine. This ancient Berber fortified granary was used as a backdrop in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. All photos by Phil and Wendy Evans
Two of our most exotic travelers were Phil and Wendy Evans, who live on Rarotonga in the Cook Islands. Phil and Wendy just sent along a fabulous group portrait from Ksar Ouled Soltane, taken by a local artist using Phil’s camera. The artist also showed us great drawings of the ancient site. I thought I would share that image with you today.

And, amazingly, Phil found a Roman coin just outside our hotel near Tataouine using planetary scientist Chris McKay’s metal detector. It is a posthumous commemorative coin of Constantine the Great, which was probably minted by one of his sons around A.D. 347–348.

If you would like to see Phil and Wendy’s short video of highlights from the Tunisian trip, visit: http://www.rarolens.com/2011/04/long-way-from-rarotonga.html.

After borrowing a metal detector from planetary scientist Chris McKay, traveler Phil Evans found this Roman coin near our hotel outside Tataouine.

Tags: Trips
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