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DMP XIII: Reconnaissance Survey of Archaeological Sites in the Murzuq Area

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 April 2014

Martin Sterry
School of Archaeology and Ancient History, University of Leicester, UK
David Mattingly
School of Archaeology and Ancient History, University of Leicester, UK
Muftah Ahmed
Department of Antiquities, Tripoli, Libya
Toby Savage
School of Archaeology and Ancient History, University of Leicester, UK
Kevin White
University of Reading, UK
Andrew Wilson
Institute of Archaeology, Oxford, UK


Reconnaissance survey in the Murzuq area, some 150 km south-east of Jarma, was carried out as part of the 2011 field programme of the Desert Migrations Project, with separate funding from the Leverhulme Trust for this element of work entitled the ‘Peopling the Desert Project’. This survey was designed to provide field verification of details of settlement systems identified and mapped from high-resolution satellite images in an area of c. 600 km2 immediately east of the oasis town of Murzuq. Examination of high-resolution QuickBird and Ikonos satellite imagery has permitted identification of a large dossier of more than 200 sites (fortified buildings known as qsur, other settlements, cemeteries, wells, fields/gardens and linear irrigation works called foggaras). The majority of these sites have never been previously noted or mapped and the date of the sites was unknown at the outset, though they clearly pertained to the historic periods. While further study of the finds and scientific dating evidence is required, the initial results of the brief field visit have major implications for our understanding of Garamantian and early Islamic settlement in south-eastern Fazzan.

Archaeological Reports
Copyright © Society for Libyan Studies 2011

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