The Gulf of Gabes, the Syrtis Minor of the ancients, is a semicircular shallow indentation of the Mediterranean, about 50 m.
Other towns of Tunisia are, on the east coast, Nabeul, pop. about 5000, the ancient Neapolis, noted for the mildness of its climate and its pottery manufactures; Hammamet with 37 00 inhabitants; Monastir (the Ruspina of the Romans), a walled town with 5600 inhabitants and a trade in cereals and oils; Mandiya or Mandia (q.v.; in ancient chronicles called the city of Africa and sometimes the capital of the country) with 8500 inhabitants, the fallen city of the Fatimites, which since the French occupation has risen from its ruins, and has a new harbour (the ancient Cothon or harbour, of Phoenician origin, cut out of the rock is nearly dry but in excellent preservation); and Gabes (Tacape of the Romans, Qabis of the Arabs) on the Syrtis, a group of small villages, with an aggregate population of 16,000, the port of the Shat country and a depot of the esparto trade.
African coast, lying between the Syrtis Major and Marmarica, the western limit being Arae Philaenorum, and the eastern a vague line drawn inland from the head of the gulf of Platea (Bomba).
There is no continuous littoral plain, the longest strip running from the recess of the Syrtis round past Bengazi to Tolmeita.
For example, where the high plateau of the Libyan desert descends into a longitudinal valley between Syrtis and the Nile delta there are a few spots where the water comes to the surface or is found in shallow wells.