Northwest Libya is home to many ancient cultures. Tripolitania is an ancient landscape that derived its name from three old cities, Oea, Leptis Magna and Sabratha. Accounts of the tribes of Tripolitania were written down by Ancient Greek historian, Herodotus, who lived in the 5th century B.C. and according to his texts, it was the Phoenicians who founded the three cities at the beginning of the 8th century B.C.
The ancient coastal city of Sabratha has a truly magical atmosphere. The front of a theatre, the Pulpitum, features a symbolic image of Sabratha and Rome. For more than a thousand years, the remains of the Roman theatre lay hidden beneath the ground. Italian archaeologists excavated the site in the 1920s and discovered Sabratha’s impressive architectural remains. The facade of the theatre has since been re-built and is today the most beautiful architectural example of Ancient Rome.
The Punic Tomb Tower was built in the 2nd century B.C. and features a large variety of symbolic figures that are full of mystique. The building is decorated with scenes that feature Heracles, who strangles a Nemaeic Lion and the Egyptian god of fertility, Bes, who fends off two further lions, plus other scenes that are no longer recognizable.
Following the conquest of the former Roman province and the spread of Islam, Sabratha lost its importance and its inhabitants moved to other areas. Sabratha fell into oblivion.