Culture and Customs of Libya

Culture and Customs of Libya

Culture and Customs of Libya

Culture and Customs of Libya

Excerpt

This book focuses on the customs and culture of Libya from antiquity to the present. Libya, a relatively new state in North Africa, achieved independent statehood in 1951. It is one of five states in the Maghreb region. Libya derives its name from Libue, a name originally used by the Greeks to describe the entire region of Northwest Africa with the exception of Egypt. Archaeological evidence from as early as 8000 BCE, such as rock art, paintings, and engravings, in Wadi Teshuinat, Wadi Mattendush, El Awrer, Wadi Tiksatin, Messak Settafet, and Messak Mellet in southwest Libya and also Jebel Acacus in western Libya reveals that Neolithic peoples inhabited the coastal regions of ancient Libya. These unintended and mute witnesses to events, peoples, and generations past reveal that the Libyan Sahara was once a home to rivers, grassy plateaus, and abundant wildlife, such as giraffes, elephants, and crocodiles. In addition, the archeological record reveals that the Sahara was once a temperate zone, home to lakes and dense forests. Perhaps, drawn by the temperate climate, which played important roles in the growth and development of their customs and cultures, the Neolithic peoples were ardent livestock managers and cultivators of crops.

Libya has a tumultuous ancient and contemporary history. For thousands of years, Libya was conquered, occupied, and administered by outsiders. The Greeks, who founded Cyrenaica in 632 BCE, were the first. The Romans, after destroying Carthage at the end of the Third Punic War in 146 BCE, extended their influence across the region to include Tunisia and, a century . . .

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