Hunters of the Mountain

The Archaeology of Jebel Gharbi, NW Libya, from Final Pleistocene to Early Holocene.

Edited by Barbara E. Barich

Studia Archaeologica
2024, 200 pp.
Paperback, 17 x 24 cm
ISBN: 9788891331786
ISSN: 0081-6299
  • Abstract
  • Abstract

    Two mountain ranges shape the geography of northern Libya: to the east, Jebel el Akhdar - the Green Mountain - rises in Cyrenaica a short distance from the coast, while the corresponding structure to the west, Jebel Gharbi (or Nefusa in Berber) covers the sublittoral belt of Tripolitania and forms a link between the Mediterranean coast and the Sahara desert. The Jebel preserves the remains of Roman farmsteads linked to the Roman limes which is marked by military posts along the caravan route from the coast to Ghadamès, Gheriat el Garbia and Bu Njem. Local architecture preserves the ancient Berber nuclei, the "old towns": small acropolises perched against the limestone Jebel, almost embedded in the rock.

    The Jebel's earliest human settlements, part of the North African prehistoric sequence, have been reconstructed thanks to the work of the Joint Libyan-Italian Project launched by Barbara E. Barich in the early 1990s. The book "Hunters of the Mountain" brings together for the first time the most important results of this research. It illustrates the ancient settlement of north-western Libya by groups of hunter-gatherers who frequented the Jebel Gharbi and left their traces along the main rivers: Wadi Ain Zargha, Wadi Ghan, Wadi Ginnaun. The hunter-gatherers of Jebel Gharbi, linked to other Upper Palaeolithic and Epipalaeolithic groups in the Maghreb, formed the basis for the development of Neolithic and Protohistoric societies in Libya.