Excavations at El-Medeinah, ancient Surt (in previous reports erroneously called Medinat Sultan) took place between July 11 and August 6th 1977. The excavations were financed by the Department of Antiquities of Libya and by the Society for Libyan Studies. Participants of the excavations were Mr. Abdulhamid Abdussaid, Technical Director of the Department of Antiquities, Libya, Mr. Masoud Shagluf, Controller of Antiquities, Benghazi, Dr. Géza Fehérvári, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London on behalf of the Society for Libyan Studies, Mr. Idris Ahmad Badi, Inspector of Antiquities, Benghazi, Mr. Michael Blyth and Mrs. Marta Kozary Blyth, Architects, Miss Marga Foley, Conservation student, Institute of Archaeology, University of London, Miss Caroline Ballingal, student, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London and Mrs. Iren Fehérvári.
The aims of the season's work were:
1. to prepare an overall survey map of the site,
2. to prepare for publication the previously excavated pottery, and
3. to open a trial trench in the mosque area in order to investigate earlier occupation levels, and a second one inside the mosque to establish the existence of a ṗre-Fāṭimid mosque.
With regard to the survey of the site, Professor Lucien Golvin of the University of Aix-en-Provence began such work on the site in June, 1975 and laid down a number of reference points on a 50 m grid. It was decided that the present survey should be based on Professor Golvin's grid, and implemented as necessary. A new reference system was evolved which will be used in future excavations. A contour map of 1:1000 was produced which extends beyond the suggested line of the city walls as they were set by the Department of Antiquities under the direction of Dr. Mohammad Mostafa. The map depicts the contours at 50 cm intervals and includes all the previously excavated areas and visible features of the site (Fig.1).