Ancient Sabratha, UNESCO, Libya 

Sabratha was an ancient Carthaginian city on the coast of north Africa. The name of this city comes from its Punic name SBRTN, of which the pronunciation is still unknown. Sabratha was a major city of Tripolitania, together with Lepcis Magna and Oea.

Archaeological evidence suggests the existence of Sabratha during the 5th century BCE. At this time, it was a seasonal colony of the Carthaginian empire. Despite the area not being fertile, the location was chosen because of a little natural harbor that was ideal for Mediterranean trade. One century later, it became a proper town and the first stone monuments were built.

The Carthaginian market that was constructed later became a Roman forum. From this period, archaeologists also found a Tophet and several steles of the Tanit cult. In the south of the city, a necropolis was found that is home to a triangular mausoleum that contains elements of Alexandrian influence and Punic art. The city’s most important temples were dedicated to Liber Pater, Isis and Serapis. Very few Punic inscriptions have been discovered in this city.

Epic Libya Culture & Adventure Route © Monika Newbound

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