Libya, a country overlooked and often not heard of, is a country in the heart of North Africa that's rich in both culture and history.
Something not many know is that Libya was an established province of the Roman empire from 146 BC to 672 AD. In fact, the name "Libya" was a Latin name which was used to refer to all African regions by the Romans.
One area in particular that holds robust historical significance is Leptis Magna, referred to as Sabratha today.
Because of Libya's central location in North Africa and long coastal line in the Mediterranean, Leptis Magna served as a trading point of exotic animals and commodities between Africa and mainland Rome.
You'll notice from the remnants and structures that have been excavated today that Leptis Magna was not only a place to do business, but it became a thriving Roman city that attracted many Romans of high class where they established their lives there. You'll find beautifully standing amphitheaters and other structures, which were used for entertainment.
Although the most visible and prominent sites we see today are from the Roman Empire's footprints, Sabratha and western Libya's history spans back even further. Before the Romans expanded their empire to Africa, the ancient Phoenicians and berber desert tribes inhabited the area.
It is believed much of those remnants were lost when the Italians excavated Leptis Magna in 1912 in search for ruins from the Roman Empire. However, we'll cover more on this on my next blog post.