added by archaeologs Islamic Sousse [Roman Hadrume-tum] on the Tunisian coast was still a minor settlement in 821-2, when the Aghlabid ruler Ziyadat Allah built the ribat, a stronghold for volunteers dedicated to the holy war against the infidel. It is a square fort, 39 metres across, with towers (one of which is a minaret) and a gatehouse. The ground floor contains barracks and magazines; the upper storey includes a mosque. Sousse also possesses one of the oldest free-standing mosques in the Maghreb: that of Bu Fatata, built in 838-41. It consists of a square chamber divided into nine compartments, as at Balkh, entered through a portico. The facade has a monumental kufic inscription. The town expanded in the 9th century; the Great Mosque was built in 850-1 and by 859 work was in progress on the city wall. The original mosque (subsequently altered) had a courtyard surrounded on three sides by a single arcade, and a sanctuary with a T-shaped plan, as for example at Qairawan. The walls of Sousse enclose a trapezoidal area with maximum dimensions of 730 by 500 metres. The walls are constructed of coursed masonry, and have a curtain with a rampart walk supported on vaulted recesses, and rectangular towers. One tower, however, is a minaret, similar to that of Qairawan.
The Macmillan dictionary of archaeology, Ruth D. Whitehouse, 1983