Last year, archaeologists were witness to the magnificence of ancient Roman legacy on Libyan soil with the discovery of an impressive villa at Ptolemais, which was once a major trading hub of Cyrenaica. And now, at the ending phase of this year, researchers have once again come across the legacy of ancient Roman presence in North Africa, with the identification of a tomb, dating from circa 3rd century AD. It was found in the area of Dogha in Tarhuna city, 40 miles (65 km) to the southeast of Tripoli.
The ancient tomb was found to have both remains and funerary belongings, both which are around 1,700-years old. According to the Municipal Council of Tarhuna, the main structure is composed of a rectangular chamber with two openings and a total of three sarcophagi made of limestone. One of these coffins has a carving that pertains to the original occupant’s name – thus shedding light into its Roman origin.
Now in terms of history, the region of Libya played an important role in ancient empires, like Carthage, Achaemenid Persia, and Rome. For example, the ancient settlement of Leptis Magna, located within located within present-day Khoms, in north-western Libya, while being originally founded sometime in the 7th century BC as a Punic city, grew into a strategic Roman stronghold in North Africa by the late Republic time. Much of the growth had to do with the fertile farmlands surrounding the settlement along with the profusion of olive groves in the area – so much so that the city was levied by Caesar with a tax of three million pounds of oil annually.
Image Credit: Municipal Council of Tarhuna