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In Pictures: Libya's Roman ruins
French archaeological studies of Leptis Magna may further unearth the historic site for the good of future generations.
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2013 16:18
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Khoms, Libya - Once the third most important city of the Roman empire, Leptis Magna stands today as one of the world's best preserved archaeological sites.

It is also a surprisingly well-kept secret - while it rivals the likes of Carthage and Palmyra in terms of size and scope, it remains largely unknown to the general public.

However, this could change as post-Gaddafi Libya opens up to the outside world. Since the fall of the former leader, the country's archaeological community has indicated a willingness to break with its post-colonial heritage, and work with foreign researchers.

During the summer of 2012, in the wake of the Libyan revolution, the French archaeological mission for Libya, led by Vincent Michel, returned to the site. As one of the most important archeological studies taking place in Leptis Magna, Michel's mission focuses on excavating the Roman baths. Once the study is completed, Leptis Magna will become a reference for the late Antique period of Libya.

However, a lack of conservation measures has led archaeologists to worry about the impact of tourism and vandalism.

Even more so, the archaeologists' mission itself is suddenly looking fragile. The country's ongoing turmoil and a recent attack on the French embassy are threatening to put a premature end to their research.


Cecile Degremont/Al Jazeera

The empty Cardo, one of the main streets of Leptis Magna. The locals have organised themselves to protect the site in the face of growing tourism and vandalism.



Cecile Degremont/Al Jazeera

Leptis' well preserved theatre is the oldest half-Greek, half-Roman theatre in Roman Africa. The date of construction estimates around the first century CE.



Cecile Degremont/Al Jazeera
The Septimius Severus basilica is one of the biggest in all the Roman world. Septimius Severus ruled the Roman Empire from 193-211 CE. During his reign, he oversaw wide-ranging public works for Leptis.


Cecile Degremont/Al Jazeera
The Septimius Severus forum.


Cecile Degremont/Al Jazeera
Overlooking the 1994 excavated baths by the French archaeological mission for Libya.


Cecile Degremont/Al Jazeera

Archaeologist Guillaume Dagnas and architect Michel Paulin in front of the baths main entry. Their priority is to understand the baths' integration with the rest of the city.



Cecile Degremont/Al Jazeera
This old oven found in the baths dates to around the second half of the 3rd century CE. What was once a bath house, turned into a bakery.


Cecile Degremont/Al Jazeera
Michel Bonifay, ceramist specialist, teaches Libyan archaeologists how to draw samples. Since the 2011 revolution, France and Libya have encouraged scientific cooperation between the two nations. 


Cecile Degremont/Al Jazeera
Preserving and restoring structures is another key priority for the archaeologists.


Cecile Degremont/Al Jazeera
Today, the museum is almost empty. When the revolution started, local staff hid the artifacts. 


Cecile Degremont/Al Jazeera
Towering at 20 metres, this arch in Septimius Severus basilica remained in place since antiquity, but the structure is weak and fragile. 


Additional assitance from Eva Tallaksen.


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images:
/mritems/images/2013/6/19/2013619141248706521_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/6/19/2013619141248878673_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/6/19/20136191412493186_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/6/19/2013619141249128128_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/6/19/2013619141249268244_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/6/19/2013619141249393879_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/6/19/2013619141249518524_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/6/19/2013619141249643906_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/6/19/2013619141249784830_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/6/19/2013619141249940785_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2013/6/19/201361914125065366_8.jpg
captions:

The empty Cardo, one of the main streets of Leptis Magna. The locals have organised themselves to protect the site in the face of growing tourism and vandalism.

;*;

Leptis(***) well preserved theatre is the oldest half-Greek, half-Roman theatre in Roman Africa. The date of construction estimates around the first century CE.

;*;The Septimius Severus basilica is one of the biggest in all the Roman world. Septimius Severus ruled the Roman Empire from 193-211 CE. During his reign, he oversaw wide-ranging public works for Leptis.;*;The Septimius Severus forum.;*;Overlooking the 1994 excavated baths by the French archaeological mission for Libya.;*;

Archaeologist Guillaume Dagnas and architect Michel Paulin in front of the baths main entry. Their priority is to understand the baths(***) integration with the rest of the city.

;*;This old oven found in the baths dates to around the second half of the 3rd century CE. What was once a bath house, turned into a bakery.;*;Michel Bonifay, ceramist specialist, teaches Libyan archaeologists how to draw samples. Since the 2011 revolution, France and Libya have encouraged scientific cooperation between the two nations. ;*;Preserving and restoring structures is another key priority for the archaeologists.;*;Today, the museum is almost empty. When the revolution started, local staff hid the artifacts. ;*;Towering at 20 metres, this arch in Septimius Severus basilica remained in place since antiquity, but the structure is weak and fragile. Daylife ID:
1371648171716
Photographer:
Cecile Degremont;*;Cecile Degremont;*;Cecile Degremont;*;Cecile Degremont;*;Cecile Degremont;*;Cecile Degremont;*;Cecile Degremont;*;Cecile Degremont;*;Cecile Degremont;*;Cecile Degremont;*;Cecile Degremont
Image Source:
Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera;*;Al Jazeera
Gallery Source:
Daylife
Daylife Raw Data:
Ancient Roman city in Libyahttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1371648171716en-usAl Jazeerafeedback@daylife.com10Wed, 19 Jun 2013 13:22:52 GMTWed, 19 Jun 2013 14:09:16 GMT http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1371648171716?image_id=013C8hFdtad42

The empty Cardo, one of the main streets of Leptis Magna. The locals have organized themselves to protect the site.

Wed, 19 Jun 2013 13:09:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1371648171716?image_id=013C8hFdtad42Cecile DegremontAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

The empty Cardo, one of the main streets of Leptis Magna. The locals have organized themselves to protect the site.

http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1371648171716?image_id=0bav7jgflx9rb

Leptis’ well preserved theatre is the oldest half-Greek, half-Roman theatre in Roman Africa. The date of construction estimates around the first century CE.

Wed, 19 Jun 2013 13:09:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1371648171716?image_id=0bav7jgflx9rbCecile DegremontAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

Leptis’ well preserved theatre is the oldest half-Greek, half-Roman theatre in Roman Africa. The date of construction estimates around the first century CE.

http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1371648171716?image_id=0b9g4Ca21U20G

The Septimius Severus basilica is one of the biggest in all the Roman world. Septimius Severus ruled the Roman Empire from 193-211 CE. During his reign, he oversaw wide-ranging public works for Leptis.

Wed, 19 Jun 2013 13:09:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1371648171716?image_id=0b9g4Ca21U20GCecile DegremontAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

The Septimius Severus basilica is one of the biggest in all the Roman world. Septimius Severus ruled the Roman Empire from 193-211 CE. During his reign, he oversaw wide-ranging public works for Leptis.

http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1371648171716?image_id=0dtMdvSaaG6vg

The Septimius Severus forum.

Wed, 19 Jun 2013 13:09:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1371648171716?image_id=0dtMdvSaaG6vgCecile DegremontAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

The Septimius Severus forum.

http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1371648171716?image_id=09j78HAb8ucub

Overlooking the 1994 excavated baths by the French archaeological mission for Libya.

Wed, 19 Jun 2013 13:10:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1371648171716?image_id=09j78HAb8ucubCecile DegremontAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

Overlooking the 1994 excavated baths by the French archaeological mission for Libya.

http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1371648171716?image_id=0g9003tgN2cF3

Archaeologist Guillaume Dagnas and architect Michel Paulin in front of the baths main entry. Their priority is to understand the baths’ integration with the rest of the city.

Wed, 19 Jun 2013 13:10:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1371648171716?image_id=0g9003tgN2cF3Cecile DegremontAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

Archaeologist Guillaume Dagnas and architect Michel Paulin in front of the baths main entry. Their priority is to understand the baths’ integration with the rest of the city.

http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1371648171716?image_id=0aC7diiefU3dq

This old oven found in the baths dates to around the second half of the 3rd century CE. What was once a bath house, turned into a bakery.

Wed, 19 Jun 2013 13:10:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1371648171716?image_id=0aC7diiefU3dqCecile DegremontAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

This old oven found in the baths dates to around the second half of the 3rd century CE. What was once a bath house, turned into a bakery.

http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1371648171716?image_id=062i8GY5Uj64n

Michel Bonifay, ceramist specialist, teaches Libyan archaeologists how to draw samples. Since the 2011 revolution, France and Libya have encouraged scientific cooperation between the two nations. 

Wed, 19 Jun 2013 13:10:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1371648171716?image_id=062i8GY5Uj64nCecile DegremontAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

Michel Bonifay, ceramist specialist, teaches Libyan archaeologists how to draw samples. Since the 2011 revolution, France and Libya have encouraged scientific cooperation between the two nations. 

http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1371648171716?image_id=06W67iceHU2eW

Preserving and restoring structures is another key priority for the archaeologists.

Wed, 19 Jun 2013 13:10:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1371648171716?image_id=06W67iceHU2eWCecile DegremontAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

Preserving and restoring structures is another key priority for the archaeologists.

http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1371648171716?image_id=0daq921cwUdjk

Today, the museum is almost empty. When the revolution started, local staff hid the artifacts. 

Wed, 19 Jun 2013 13:10:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1371648171716?image_id=0daq921cwUdjkCecile DegremontAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

Today, the museum is almost empty. When the revolution started, local staff hid the artifacts. 

http://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1371648171716?image_id=00idddV6hU5np

Towering at 20 metres, this arch in Septimius Severus basilica remained in place since antiquity, but the structure is weak and fragile. 

Wed, 19 Jun 2013 13:09:00 GMThttp://aljazeera.smartgalleries.net/gallery/1371648171716?image_id=00idddV6hU5npCecile DegremontAl JazeeraAl Jazeera Upload Images

Towering at 20 metres, this arch in Septimius Severus basilica remained in place since antiquity, but the structure is weak and fragile. 



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