In April 1995 a three week season of excavation was conducted at the ancient city of Euesperides by the Society for Libyan Studies and the Department of Archaeology, Gar Younis University, Benghazi, in collaboration with the Libyan Department of Antiquities. This note provides a brief account of the main findings.
The background to the new work at the site is as follows: in the early 1990s unauthorised excavations for a shopping precinct took place immediately to the north of the known archaeological zone of Sidi Abeid, bringing to light huge quantities of pottery and other artefacts of the Greek period. Eye-witnesses report also the removal of large quantities of ancient building stone during these operations. Following initiatives by the Department of Antiquities and Gar Younis University a legal judgement was obtained suspending further construction (the court case is continuing) and archaeological investigations were set in train.
The condition of the site was brought to the attention of Drs Susan Walker and Joyce Reynolds during their visit to Benghazi in September 1993. A year later, following further visits by the first-named author of this note (in December 1993) and by the Libya Society's Chairwoman, Dr Walker, and Head of Mission, Professor Graeme Barker (in Spring 1994), a joint programme of research was agreed and a two-year contract with the Department of Antiquities was signed in Tripoli. The Society was able to divert resources immediately to the site, and the results of the ensuing investigation, which benefited greatly from the participation of the Department of Archaeology, are reported elsewhere in this volume. The field directors, Drs Peter Hayes and David Mattingly, very kindly made available the full records of this work in advance of the excavations.