Castles in the Desert: Satellites Reveal Lost Cities of Libya

Nov 2010
2,088
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#1
Looks like the Garamantes

ScienceDaily (Nov. 7, 2011) — Satellite imagery has uncovered new evidence of a lost civilisation of the Sahara in Libya's south-western desert wastes that will help re-write the history of the country. The fall of Gaddafi has opened the way for archaeologists to explore the country's pre-Islamic heritage, so long ignored under his regime.
Castles in the desert: Satellites reveal lost cities of Libya
 
Nov 2010
2,088
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#2
"These represent the first towns in Libya that weren't the colonial imposition of Mediterranean people such as the Greeks and Romans. The Garamantes should be central to what Libyan school children learn about their history and heritage."

Prof. Mattingly may be correct, but this will never happen. People are more attentive when it comes to Arab and even Roman history.
 
Oct 2011
537
#3
"These represent the first towns in Libya that weren't the colonial imposition of Mediterranean people such as the Greeks and Romans. The Garamantes should be central to what Libyan school children learn about their history and heritage."

Prof. Mattingly may be correct, but this will never happen. People are more attentive when it comes to Arab and even Roman history.
Why would you want to dictate to the Libyans which part of the country's history they should hold dearer?

The Libyans are Arabs, their history is ultimately tied to their Arabic identity. What connection do they have to the Garamantes? None.

I find all history interesting, but telling people which history they should identify with is a little out of place.
 
Dec 2009
11,340
Ozarkistan
#4
In the early '80s one of my American colleagues with a USAID project in Cairo was privileged to be flown to an ancient, long dried-up oasis somewhere in southwestern Egypt to view a landscape littered with ax-heads and other stone implements. He instinctively picked up an ax-head to look at it, and was scolded -- don't touch! I never learned more about the place.

The standard view is that the Sahara once was green, and full of game and human hunters. Growth of the desert is what forced North Africans to congregate along the Nile, they say. "And the rest is history".
 
Nov 2010
2,088
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#5
Why would you want to dictate to the Libyans which part of the country's history they should hold dearer?

The Libyans are Arabs, their history is ultimately tied to their Arabic identity. What connection do they have to the Garamantes? None.

I find all history interesting, but telling people which history they should identify with is a little out of place.
Note, that was a quote.

And I agree with him in as much as the Garamantes were the first major Libyan culture and ought to be studied closely. People throughout the Fezzan and northern Chad have obvious connections to the Garamantes. It is wrong to call them "Arabs."
 
Nov 2010
2,088
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#6
In the early '80s one of my American colleagues with a USAID project in Cairo was privileged to be flown to an ancient, long dried-up oasis somewhere in southwestern Egypt to view a landscape littered with ax-heads and other stone implements. He instinctively picked up an ax-head to look at it, and was scolded -- don't touch! I never learned more about the place.

The standard view is that the Sahara once was green, and full of game and human hunters. Growth of the desert is what forced North Africans to congregate along the Nile, they say. "And the rest is history".
Sounds like an early Neolithic site. Wouldn't mind hearing more about it.

By the time of dessication the upper Nile had already served as a meeting point for the various fishing communities throughout the once-fertile-Sahara (also Lake Chad). You can tell by the pattern of Paleolithic settlements:

100,000 BP


40,000 BP


19,000-10,000 BP


The sites grew in size but remained in these general areas. There were some sites more far afield during the early Holocene:

8,000-7,000 BP


But as we can tell from the map below the Neolithic settlements sprang nearest the older Paleolithic settlements and were pretty much concentrated there well into the Pharaonic age.

6,500-5,000 BP


5,000-3,000 BP


The Niolitics (Egyptians, Ethiopians, Somalis, etc) emerged from these regions of the upper Nile. Only close proximity between different groups in present day Sudan could explain their cohesiveness generations later. Dessication began around 2,500-3,000 years ago. That's when the Nile became saving grace.
 
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Oct 2011
537
#7
Note, that was a quote.
Yes I noticed. I meant to whoever thinks this way (ie. if you quoted it because you thought it had merit).

And I agree with him in as much as the Garamantes were the first major Libyan culture and ought to be studied closely.
Doesn't mean the Libyans of today would necessarily have any affinity with them. I agree with studying them, as I think all history is worth studying. I just find the idea of dictating to others which history they should identify with to be wrong.

People throughout the Fezzan and northern Chad have obvious connections to the Garamantes. It is wrong to call them "Arabs."
The bulk of Libya's population is in the urban centres in the northern coastal region. They are Arabs, a mixture of Arabian tribes who moved there during the Islamic expansion and continuing throughout the 1300+ years since, and local Berbers who became Arabicised. They are overwhelmingly Arabs today.
 
Nov 2010
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#8
Yes I noticed. I meant to whoever thinks this way (ie. if you quoted it because you thought it had merit).



Doesn't mean the Libyans of today would necessarily have any affinity with them. I agree with studying them, as I think all history is worth studying. I just find the idea of dictating to others which history they should identify with to be wrong.



The bulk of Libya's population is in the urban centres in the northern coastal region. They are Arabs, a mixture of Arabian tribes who moved there during the Islamic expansion and continuing throughout the 1300+ years since, and local Berbers who became Arabicised. They are overwhelmingly Arabs today.
There's no denying the substantial influx of Arabs in the same coastal regions that absorbed Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans and countless other people. A long list of colonizers not nearly as connected to the region.

Mattingly is more urging Libyans to recognize and study their heritage. The Garamantes were the undisputed masters of the Sahara. Neither Carthaginians, Greeks, Romans or Arabs could claim the same.
 
May 2011
461
Karaj, Iran
#9
Sounds like an early Neolithic site. Wouldn't mind hearing more about it.

By the time of dessication the upper Nile had already served as a meeting point for the various fishing communities throughout the once-fertile-Sahara (also Lake Chad). You can tell by the pattern of Paleolithic settlements:

But as we can tell from the map below the Neolithic settlements sprang nearest the older Paleolithic settlements and were pretty much concentrated there well into the Pharaonic age.

The Niolitics (Egyptians, Ethiopians, Somalis, etc) emerged from these regions of the upper Nile. Only close proximity between different groups in present day Sudan could explain their cohesiveness generations later. Dessication began around 2,500-3,000 years ago. That's when the Nile became saving grace.
Neat, I love these prehistoric data.
 
Oct 2011
537
#10
There's no denying the substantial influx of Arabs in the same coastal regions that absorbed Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans and countless other people. A long list of colonizers not nearly as connected to the region.
To suggest Arabic identity is only as relevant to the region today as Greek, Roman or Phoenician is just ludicrous.

Such out of touch suggestions would probably turn Libyans more inwards towards Arab/Nationalist tendencies more than it would incite in them a desire to know about ancient inhabitants of the region.
 

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