Washington, Nov 7: A team of British archaeologists has uncovered new evidence of a lost civilization of the Sahara in Libya’s southwestern desert wastes using satellite images.
The finding, which follows the fall of Gaddafi, could help re-write the history of the country.
The end of Gaddafi rule has opened the way for archaeologists to explore the country’s pre-Islamic heritage, so long ignored under his regime.
Using satellites and air-photographs to identify the remains in one of the most inhospitable parts of the desert, the team from the University discovered more than 100 fortified farms and villages with castle-like structures and several towns, most dating between AD 1-500.
These “lost cities” were built by a little-known ancient civilisation called the Garamantes, whose lifestyle and culture was far more advanced and historically significant than the ancient sources suggested.
The team has identified the mud brick remains of the castle-like complexes, with walls still standing up to four metres high, along with traces of dwellings, cairn cemeteries, associated field systems, wells and sophisticated irrigation systems.
Follow-up ground survey earlier this year confirmed the pre-Islamic date and remarkable preservation.
“It is like someone coming to England and suddenly discovering all the medieval castles. These settlements had been unremarked and unrecorded under the Gaddafi regime,” stated the project leader David Mattingly FBA, Professor of Roman Archaeology at the University of Leicester. (ANI)