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DMP XII: Excavations and Survey of the so-called Garamantian Royal Cemetery (GSC030–031)

  • David Mattingly (a1), Hafed Abduli (a2), Muftah Ahmed (a3), Franca Cole (a4), Corisande Fenwick (a5), Brooklynne Tyr Fothergill (a1), Mireya González Rodriguez (a1), Matthew Hobson (a1), Nadia Khalaf (a6), Marta Lahr (a4), Farès Moussa (a7), Efthymia Nikita (a4), Julia Nikolaus (a1), Anita Radini (a1), Nick Ray (a1), Toby Savage (a1), Martin Sterry (a1) and Andrew Wilson (a8)...

Abstract

Survey and excavation by the Burials and Identity team of the Desert Migrations Project (DMP) focused in 2011 on the so-called Royal Cemetery of the Garamantes close to the Jarma escarpment, a few km south of Old Jarma. This Late Garamantian cemetery contains two distinct zones (GSC030 and GSC031) of monumental rectangular stepped tombs, which were plaster-coated and fronted by massive offering tables and stelae. Previous dating evidence has suggested they span the fourth to sixth centuries AD. However, many questions remain about the cemetery and the overall recording of the monuments had hitherto been left incomplete. The 2011 work focused on the excavation of one of the larger monuments in GSC030 and several of the smaller tombs in the neighbouring GSC031, along with an overall survey of both cemetery areas and a detailed record of the stelae and offering tables still present in considerable numbers. In addition, the team made a survey along the escarpment between the Royal Cemetery and Zinkekrā, completing and uniting the various surveys carried out by the DMP around Zinkekrā, Watwāt and the Jarma Escarpment. A survey of foggaras and settlement in the ad-Dīsa embayment was also undertaken.

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