Carthage was the capital city of the ancient Carthaginian civilization, on the eastern side of the Lake of Tunis in what is now Tunisia. Carthage was one of the most important trading hubs of the Ancient Mediterranean and one of the most affluent cities of the classical world. The city developed from a Canaanite Phoenician colony into the capital of a Punic empire which dominated large parts of the Southwest Mediterranean during the first millennium BC. The ancient city was destroyed in the nearly-three year siege of Carthage by the Roman Republic during the Third Punic War in 146 BC and then re-developed as Roman Carthage, which became the major city of the Roman Empire in the province of Africa. Late antique and medieval Carthage continued to play an important cultural and economic role in the Byzantine period. The city was sacked and destroyed by Umayyad forces in 698 to prevent it from being reconquered by the Byzantine Empire. It remained occupied during the Muslim period and was used as a fort by the Muslims until the Hafsid period when it was taken by the Crusaders with its inhabitants massacred during the Eighth Crusade. The site of the ruins is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.