Mausoleum of Bes, Sabratha, Libya
Although named after the Egyptian protective god Bes, the 2nd century BC mausoleum pictured incorporates Punic and Hellenistic styles.
Like Lepcis Magna and Oea, Sabratha was a Phoenician colony that belonged to the Carthaginian empire. The port of Sabratha was established around 500 BC as a Phoenician trading-post that served as a coastal outlet for the products of the African hinterland. In the middle of the 2nd century BC, it was conquered by the Numidian king Massinissa, and later became part of the Roman empire.
After the fall of Carthage in 146 BC, the city prospered as its harbor became a trade hub. The heyday of the city was during the Antonine period (AD 96-192). Starting in 365 AD, Sabratha slowly declined in importance due to barbarian raids and an earthquake. The last restoration of buildings was in the first part of the 5th century AD in the forum basilica. Vandals and Byzantines also occupied the city at one time. The end of Sabratha came with the Arabs, probably around 8th century AD, who used Tripoli, which is 41 miles away, as their trade hub.
The ruins of Sabratha are located on the coast of the northwestern corner of modern Libya.