Dougga's history is best known from the time of the Roman conquest, even though numerous pre-Roman monuments, including a necropolis, the mausoleum, and temples have been discovered during archaeological digs. These monuments are an indication of the site's importance before the arrival of the Romans. (Wikipedia) The reason it is so intact is that after its gradual abandonment (probabably sometime in the 4th century AD) it was covered by sand and the local population built houses on top of it and used the land for grazing. Our guide told us that these people were forcibly removed during the 20th century (the last ones after independence in 1956) to make possible the extensive exploration of the site. At first they had to live in a few big sheds, but a few years later a new village was built for them. They still own much of the land and use it for grazing.
The well preserved building at the top of the hill is the Capitol, a Roman temple dedicated to Jupiter, Juno and Minerva.
Even though it is one of the best preserved Roman cities in the world, Dougga is still off the beaten track. For us this meant that apart from us and our guide there were 4 other tourists on the site the whole morning we were there. Often exploring these kind of sites is done in baking heat and you're looking for some shade, but this morning was cool and at times, because of the wind, bloody freezing!