Beginning with Neolithic times and incorporating key artefacts from Libya’s extraordinary and colourful history right up until modern times, the 47 galleries of cave art, pottery and mosaics on offer at the Jamahiriya Museum; set in an ancient castle-fortress complex in the heart of the city, make this one of the finest museums in the world.
Such was the pivotal role that ancient Libya played in the rise of the Roman Empire that the province known at the time as Leptis Magna provided an emperor; in the form of Septimius Severus, as well as vast amounts of corn.
Today, the museum’s Roman gallery includes pieces from the Phoenician, Greek and Roman eras as well as the later Ottoman, Berber and Arab cultures.
Nearby are small but notable museums devoted to Natural History, Archaeology and Ethnography, as well as a fascinating and recently-restored Islamic Museum. All four are in close proximity and can be seen in less than two days.
With the opening of Tripoli to Western tourists, a far greater emphasis is being placed on the city’s cultural and historical heritage and the city’s museum collections are already expanding in size and scale.