Sunday, January 01, 2017

Guarding Leptis Magna in Libya

PUNIC WATCH: Libyan Civilians Take Up Arms and Form Protective Shield Around Ancient Ruins of Leptis Magna (MARK MILLER, Ancient Origins).
A group of armed Libyan civilians concerned about the potential of their country’s rich ancient heritage are patrolling Leptis Magna, an ancient city of Rome. They fear the Islamic State will do in Libya what it has done in Iraq and Syria: defaced and destroyed some of the richest and most important artifacts and buildings in world history.

Though the city of Leptis Magna is in ruins now, some fine architecture and art remain. There are only around 20 citizens armed with Kalashnikov rifles surrounding Leptis Magna and the surrounding archaeological ruins, which covers an area of about 120 acres (50 hectares).

This article summarizes a number of media reports and gives some background on the city. And there is additional information in this AP article: Unlikely saviors of Libya's Roman remains.

Leptis Magna has come up a couple of times at PaleoJudaica (here and here).