Castles in the desert: Satellites reveal lost cities of Libya

Satellite image of area of desert with archaeological interpretation of features: fortifications are outlined in black, areas of dwellings are in red and oasis gardens are in green. (Credit: Copyright 2011 Google, image copyright 2011 DigitalGlobe)

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.

Using satellites and air-photographs to identify the remains in one of the most inhospitable parts of the desert, a British team has discovered more than 100 fortified farms and villages with castle-like structures and several towns, most dating between AD 1-500.

These “lost cities” were built by a little-known ancient civilisation called the Garamantes, whose lifestyle and culture was far more advanced and historically significant than the ancient sources suggested.

via Castles in the desert: Satellites reveal lost cities of Libya.

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