Ghirza: Mausoleum South-NN


Ghirza: Roman town in Libya, one of the main archaeological sites of the country.

Ghirza: Mausoleum South-NN

YGhirza, Mausoleum NN

The cemetery recorded as Gh128 in Graeme Barker e.a., Farming the Desert. The UNESCO Libyan Valleys Archaeological Survey (1996) is better known as Ghirza's South Cemetery. It is less well-preserved than the northern cemetery. Still Mausoleum-A and the mausoleum discussed on this page are quite well-preserved. Of the other mausoleums, only the foundations are still visible, because the superstructures have been brought to museums.

This tatrapylon-style monument may be Mausoleum B, D, E, or F, but because I am not certain, I call it "NN". It looks much like the middle tier of Mausoleum A, which can be seen in the distance: four round columns surrounding a square core.

Spandrel of Mausoleum NN

Like Mausoleum G, now in Tripoli, the spandrels of this monument are decorated with vines and grapes and sun flowers. We can discern a date palm with a harvester climbing in it, and a nice bird. No doubt, hunters and farmers were shown elsewhere on the monument.

An interesting aspect of the art of Ghirza is that we do not see figs and olives, or almonds and pulses, although we know that they were produced in the wadi. Obviously, hunting and the cultivation of dates and cereals were more prestigious.

Ghirza: other southern mausoleums

The Museum of the Jamahirjia in Tripoli displays more reliefs from the South Cemetery, which belong to Mausoleums B, D, E, or F. The common themes are repeated: fish, hyenas with a ram's head, and date palms. The one to the right has a charming man climbing in it.