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Gareth Sears

This paper examines the changes to temples during Late Antiquity in North Africa, using archaeological evidence, supported by epigraphic and literary material where relevant. It examines the problems of the archaeology and in particular the dating for the transformation of pagan religious sites to Christian use. The paper considers the evidence for the maintenance of the pagan heritage into the mid-4th c., and the attempts to protect the temples in the guise of aesthetic preservation and antiquarianism. It proposes that it is only with the Byzantine conquest in the 6th c. that widespread destruction of temples took place, for the incorporation of their masonry into fortifications, or for the conversion of their remains into Christian churches.