Published online by Cambridge University Press: 03 March 2015
This article reports on the fifth season of the ongoing project at Euesperides (Benghazi). Excavation in Area P'confirmed a date of 261-250 BC for the destruction of the penultimate phase and the construction of the final phase, with mosaics of mixed pebble and irregular tesserae. An inscription was discovered on the mosaic of the penultimate phase; and some rooms of the preceding phase were investigated. In Area Q the dismantling of the street sequence continued, together with the investigation of houses fronting the street, and the evidence for the lines of different phases of the city defences. Outside the line of the latest defences, excavation in an ancient quarry ditch revealed a refuse deposit rich in ceramics and organic materials. In Area R the rooms surrounding the courtyard were defined, and the latest phases of Murex purple dye production were investigated. At the request of the Municipality and the Department of Antiquities of Benghazi, evaluation trenches were cut to assess the impact of proposed developments on the archaeological remains south and east of the city.
Study of the finds also continued. Work began on reconstructing the design of the final phase mosaic in Area P, the central motif of which was probably a dolphin, within a wave-crest surround. Analysis of the coarsewares demonstrated that between 40-60% of third-century BC coarsewares at the site were imported, many from areas of the Punic world; this suggests active and regular trading networks. Study of the amphorae revealed that forms of Corinthian B amphorae were produced at Euesperides.