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The ruins of Timgad lies on the slopes of the Aures Massif, about 35 km east of the town of Batna, in modern-day Algeria. Built nearly 2,000 years ago, by the Roman Emperor Trajan, the city is laid out in great precision and is one of the best surviving examples of the grid plan used by the ancient Roman city planners.

The city was originally founded as a military colony by the emperor Trajan around AD 100, intended to serve as a bastion against the Berbers in the nearby Aures Mountains. It’s original residents were largely Parthian veterans of the Roman army who were granted lands in return for years of service.

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Photo credit: Yann Arthus-Bertrand

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