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The Lepcitanian territory: cultural heritage in danger in war and peace

  • Massimiliano Munzi (a1) and Andrea Zocchi (a2)


Since 1995 the Archaeological Mission to Libya of Roma Tre University has carried out several surveys in the territory and suburbs of Lepcis Magna. Besides the survey of the archaeological and historical sites, the Roma Tre team has also had the opportunity to observe and record the development of the landscape through periods of war and peace.

In this article, the issues related to the cultural heritage in the area of the modern city of Khoms and in the Lepcis hinterland are analysed and particular consideration is given to the damage and destruction that has occurred since the Italian occupation (1911) until the present day. The Lepcitanian/Khoms territory is an interesting case study in which the cultural heritage has been, and still is, at risk due to ‘civilian’ and ‘conflict’ causes. Besides the damage that occurred during the Italo-Turkish War and – to a minor extent – during WWII, the main damage seems to have occurred in the last sixty years due to the expansion of Khoms and to the ongoing unstable political situation in which the lack of central government control is playing an important role. In particular, since 2011, Islamic fundamentalists have demolished in these areas several ancient marabouts, destroying one of the most characteristic aspects of the Tripolitanian/Libyan cultural landscape.

تقوم البعثة الأثرية لجامعة ”روما تري “ في ليبيا منذ العام 1995 بالعديد من المسوحات ضمن أراضي وضواحي ”ليبتيس ماجنا“. بالإضافة إلى إحصاء رسمي للمواقع الأثرية والتاريخية، فإن فريق مسح جامعة ”روما تري “ قد استطاع أن يرصد ويسجل التطور في المنظر العام خلال أوقات الحرب والسلم . يتم في هذه الورقة بحث وتحليل القضايا المتعلقة بالتراث الثقافي في مدينة ”خمس “ الحديثة وفي المناطق النائية لمدينة ”ليبتس “، مع الأخذ بعين الاعتبار الخراب والتدمير منذ الاحتلال الإيطالي (1911) وحتى الوقت الحاضر. إن هذه الأراضي ”ليبتس وخمس “ تمثلان حالة دراسة مثيرة للاهتمام حيث أن التراث الثقافي كان وما زال في خطر نتيجة لأسباب ”مدنية “ و”صراعية “. بالإضافة إلى الضرر من الحرب التركية-الإيطالية وإلى حد قليل من الحرب العالمية الثانية، فإن الضرر الرئيسي يبدو أنه قد حصل خلال الستين عاماً السابقة نتيجة تمدد مدينة ”خمس “ وعدم الاستقرار السياسي الحالي . وبالأخص، فمنذ عام 2011، قام المتطرفون الإسلاميون بتحطيم العديد من المزارات القديمة، وبهذا قد قاموا بتدمير أكثر الجوانب الفريدة من نوعها التي تميز المنظر الثقافي الطرابلسي/ الليبي .

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The Lepcitanian territory: cultural heritage in danger in war and peace

  • Massimiliano Munzi (a1) and Andrea Zocchi (a2)


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