AfricaLibyaTheater

Theatre of Sabratha

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HISTORY

In the Zawiya District of Libya, was the westernmost of the ancient "three cities" of Roman Tripolis, alongside Oea and Leptis Magna. From 2001 to 2007 it was the capital of the former Sabratha wa Sorman District. It lies on the Mediterranean coast about 70 km (43 mi) west of modern Tripoli. The extant archaeological site was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982.

WHY THIS PLACE

Sabratha's port was established, perhaps about 500 BCE, as the Phoenician trading-post of Tsabratan. This seems to have been a Berber name, suggesting a pre-existing native settlement. The port served as a Phoenician outlet for the products of the African hinterland. Greeks also called it Abrotonon. After the demise of Phoenicia, Sabratha fell under the sphere of influence of Carthage.

CURIOSITIES

Sabratha has been the place of several excavation campaigns from 1921 onwards, mainly by Italian archaeologists. It was also excavated by a British team directed by Kathleen Kenyon and John Ward-Perkins between 1948 and 1951. Besides its Theater at Sabratha that retains its three-storey architectural backdrop, Sabratha has temples dedicated to Liber Pater, Serapis and Isis.

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