🎧 The Garamantes: Farming the Sahara
Greco-Roman historians including Herodotus, Tacitus and Pliny the Elder would have us believe that the Garamantes were simple uncivilized cattle herders, living in sporadic camp dwellings. Until archaeological excavations began in the 1960s, this categorisation remained in place. Luckily, archaeologists like David Mattingly have dedicated years of research to sifting the fact from the fiction in the story of these residents of present day Libya. In this episode, David provides us with the revised version of the Garamantes’ civilisation. This includes masterful innovations in irrigation which allowed the Garamantes to farm two crops a year under the heat of the Saharan sun, as well as evidence of a social hierarchy and engagement in foreign trade. Listen as David turns the stereotype of the Garamantes on its head.