The Last Families Living in Tunisia's Underground Houses

Reuters photographer Zohra Bensemra recently spent time in southern Tunisia's Djebel Dahar region, where locals have lived in underground homes for centuries.  The cave houses, also known as troglodyte houses, offer protection against the extremes of summer and winter in the arid desert. A cluster of these crater-like homes can be seen in the village of Haddej on Google Maps. Most of theses cave homes can be found around Matmata, which gained fame as a filming location for Luke Skywalker’s home in the 1977 movie Star Wars. Reuters reports that fewer of these underground homes are now used, with some falling into disrepair: “In recent decades, rural depopulation has meant fewer people live in the homes, which are composed of rooms hewn into the walls of an excavated circular courtyard. The few remaining families say they are attached to the homes and the land or see no way of moving.”

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Lucas Jackson / Reuters

    Studying Greenland’s Ice to Understand Climate Change

    Lucas Jackson, a photographer with Reuters, recently joined a team of scientists studying Greenland’s ice sheet and glaciers.

  • Jonathan Drake / Reuters

    Photos: Pet Rescues in the Wake of Hurricane Florence

    Dogs, cats, and other animals that were left behind, or caught in the storm, are being rescued and cared for by owners, neighbors, and first responders.

  • Zhang Zhou / VCG via Getty

    Photos: The Aftermath of Super Typhoon Mangkhut

    Images of the immediate effects of the monster storm in the Philippines, Hong Kong, and parts of southeastern China

  • Steve Helber / AP

    Photos: The Aftermath of Hurricane Florence

    Even though Florence has been downgraded to a tropical depression, much more rainfall and flooding have been predicted for already hard-hit regions.