The Info List - Sabratha

Sabratha, Sabratah or Siburata (Arabic: صبراتة‎), in the Zawiya District[2] of Libya, was the westernmost of the ancient "three cities" of Roman Tripolis. 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.[3] The extant archaeological site was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
in 1982.


1 Climate 2 Ancient Sabratha 3 Ancient ruins in danger of erosion damage [ April 2016 report ] 4 The archaeological site 5 Modern Sabratha 6 Panorama 7 References 8 Further reading 9 External links


Climate data for Sabratha

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year

Average high °C (°F) 17.2 (63) 18.8 (65.8) 20.9 (69.6) 23.7 (74.7) 25.9 (78.6) 29.2 (84.6) 31.3 (88.3) 32.1 (89.8) 30.2 (86.4) 27.5 (81.5) 23.6 (74.5) 18.8 (65.8) 24.93 (76.88)

Average low °C (°F) 6.8 (44.2) 7.9 (46.2) 9.9 (49.8) 13.1 (55.6) 15.4 (59.7) 19.0 (66.2) 20.0 (68) 21.1 (70) 20.3 (68.5) 17.0 (62.6) 12.2 (54) 8.1 (46.6) 14.23 (57.62)

Average precipitation mm (inches) 45 (1.77) 26 (1.02) 17 (0.67) 11 (0.43) 4 (0.16) 1 (0.04) 0 (0) 0 (0) 8 (0.31) 23 (0.91) 33 (1.3) 51 (2.01) 219 (8.62)

Source: Climate-data.org

Ancient Sabratha[edit] Sabratha's port was established, perhaps about 500 BC, as a Phoenician trading-post that served as a coastal outlet for the products of the African hinterland. The Phoenicians gave it the Lybico-Berber name 'Sbrt'n',[4] which suggests that there may have been a native settlement built there prior to the Phoenicians' arrival. Sabratha became part of the short-lived Numidian Kingdom of Massinissa
before being Romanized and rebuilt in the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD. The Emperor Septimius Severus
Septimius Severus
was born nearby in Leptis Magna, and Sabratha
reached its monumental peak during the rule of the Severans. The city was badly damaged by earthquakes during the 4th century, particularly the quake of AD 365. It was rebuilt on a more modest scale by Byzantine governors. The town was site of a bishopric.[5] Within a hundred years of the Arab conquest of the Maghreb, trade had shifted to other ports and Sabratha
dwindled to a village. Ancient ruins in danger of erosion damage [ April 2016 report ][edit] According to an April, 2016 report, due to soft soil composition and the nature of the coast of Sabratha, which is mostly made up of soft rock and sand, the Ruins of Sabratha
are undergoing dangerous periods of coastal erosion. The public baths, olive press building and 'harbour' can be observed as being most damaged as the buildings have crumbled due to storms and unsettled seas. This erosion of the coast of Ancient Sabratha
can be seen yearly with significant differences in beach layout and recent crumbled buildings. Breakwaters set in the vicinity of the harbour and olive press are inadequate and too small to efficiently protect the Ancient City of Sabratha. The archaeological site[edit]

Map of Sabratha

Besides its Theatre at Sabratha (fr) that retains its three-storey architectural backdrop, Sabratha
has temples dedicated to Liber
Pater, Serapis
and Isis. There is a Christian basilica of the time of Justinian and also remnants of some of the mosaic floors that enriched elite dwellings of Roman North Africa (for example, at the Villa Sileen, near Khoms). However, these are most clearly preserved in the coloured patterns of the seaward (or Forum) baths, directly overlooking the shore, and in the black and white floors of the Theatre baths.

Archaeological Site of Sabratha, Libya

There is an adjacent museum containing some treasures from Sabratha, but others can be seen in the national museum in Tripoli. In 1943, during the Second World War, archaeologist Max Mallowan, husband of novelist Agatha Christie, was based at Sabratha
as an assistant to the Senior Civil Affairs Officer of the Western Province of Tripolitania. His main task was to oversee the allocation of grain rations, but it was, in the words of Christie's biographer, a "glorious attachment", during which Mallowan lived in an Italian villa with a patio overlooking the sea and dined on fresh tunny fish and olives.[6] Modern Sabratha[edit] The city is home to Sabratha
University. Wefaq Sabratha
Wefaq Sabratha
is the football club, playing at Sabratha
Stadium. In 2011, the town became involved in the Libyan Civil War. At first seeming to have rebelled against the government, with sword-wielding townspeople fighting against soldiers with guns,[7] by 2 March it was retaken by pro-Gaddafi forces.[8][9] However, the town was recaptured by the rebels in August.[10] In January 2014, the bodies of two foreign nationals were discovered on Tallil Seyahi Beach on the outskirts of the coastal city of Sabratha, according to the Sabratha
Media Center.[11] An initial police investigation shows the two were having a picnic in a somewhat remote area near a partially built resort. A photo posted on the Sabratha
Media Center Facebook page purports to show the man and woman, who are lying face down in the sand. Near the bodies is a blanket that is spread out, with food and drinks strewn about. A backpack sat nearby. The identities and the nationalities of the two, described only as a man and a woman, have not been released. Around 2017, Sabratha
was a main centre for migrant smuggling during the European migrant crisis.[12] Panorama[edit]

Panoramic image of a part of the archaeological site

Panoramic image of the theatre of the archaeological site

WWII Aerial photo of theatre


^ a b Wolfram Alpha ^ شعبيات الجماهيرية العظمى – Sha'biyat of Great Jamahiriya, accessed 20 July 2009, in Arabic ^ Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
(January 31, 2017). "Libyan coastguard intercepts 700 migrants". The Nation. Archived from the original on February 1, 2017. “The coastguard intercepted 700 migrants on board two wooden boats on Friday three nautical miles from the town of Sabratha,” some 70 kilometres (40 miles) west of Tripoli, coastguard spokesman General Ayoub Qassem told AFP.  ^ Septimus Severus page 2 ^ Francois Decret, Early Christianity in North Africa(James Clarke & Co, 2011) p83 ^ Janet Morgan (1984) Agatha Christie: a Biography ^ The Great Swordfight of Sabratha: How Libyan freedom fighters clashed with Gaddafi's army with 2ft scimitars ^ Amid pro-regime chants, some tell a different tale in contested Libyan town ^ Report: Libya
deploys troops in Sabratah after protests ^ https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/8703665/Egypt-Libya-and-Syria-live.html ^ http://edition.cnn.com/2014/01/02/world/africa/libya-foreigners-killed/ ^ J.H. (28 Aug 2017). "Why are fewer irregular migrants arriving in Italy?". The Economist. 

Further reading[edit]

Matthews, Kenneth D. (1957) Cities in the Sand, Leptis Magna
Leptis Magna
and Sabratha
in Roman Africa University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, OCLC 414295 Ward, Philip (1970) Sabratha: A Guide for Visitors Oleander Press, Cambridge, UK, ISBN 0-902675-05-2

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sabratha.

UNESCO archaeological site of Sabratha Complete photo coverage of the archeological site Sabratha, image from the BSR Library and Archive digital collections. Ward-Perkins photographic collection LookLex article

Coordinates: 32°47′32″N 12°29′3″E / 32.79222°N 12.48417°E / 32.79222; 12.48417

v t e

Zawiya District, Libya



Towns and villages

Bir al-Ghanam Joudaim Sabratha Sorman

v t e

World Heritage Sites in Libya

Archaeological Site of Cyrene Archaeological Site of Leptis Magna Archaeological Site of Sabratha Old Town of Ghadamès Rock-Art Sites of Tadrart Acacus

v t e

Phoenician cities and colonies


Cirta Malaca Igigili Hippo Regius Icosium Iol Tipasa Timgad


Kition Dhali Marion


Callista Paxi Rhodes


Karalis Lilybaeum Motya Neapolis Nora Olbia Panormus Solki Soluntum Tharros


Amia Ampi Arqa Baalbek Berut Botrys Gebal Sarepta Sur Sydon Tripolis


Leptis Magna Oea Sabratha


Gozo Għajn Qajjet Mtarfa Maleth Ras il-Wardija Tas-Silġ

Mauritania / Morocco

Cerne  /  Arambys Caricus Murus Chellah Lixus Tingis


Achziv Acre Arsuf Caesarea


Olissipona Ossonoba


Abdera Abyla Akra Leuke Gadir Herna Ibossim Sa Caleta, Ibiza Mahón Malaca Onoba Qart Hadašt Rusadir Sexi Tyreche


Amrit Arwad Safita Shuksi Ugarit


Carthage Hadrumetum Hippo Diarrhytus Kelibia Kerkouane Leptis Parva Sicca Thanae Thapsus Utica

Turkey / others

Myriandrus Phoenicus  /  Gibraltar

v t e

Protected areas of Libya

National parks

Abughilan National Park El-Kouf National Park Karabolli National Park El Naggaza National Park Rajma National Park Sabratha
National Park Surman National Park


Benghazi Reserve Bier Ayyad Reserve New Hiesha Natural Reserve Tripoli
Reserve Zellaf Reserve

Other protected areas

Ain Elshakika Wetland Ain Elzarga Wetland Ain Zayanah Ajdabiya Marsh, Al Jaghbub Oasis Berjuj Valley Bombe gulf Fezzan valleys Garabulli Giarabub Grotto de Lete Harouj Mountain Jalo Oasis Kufrah Oasis Nefhusa Oasis of Ghat Ouau en Namu lakes Qaminis and Tukrah salines Rajma plantations Sebkha el Sahel Sarir Shahaat Taizerbo Taoulga islands (Thaouar


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