Germa, the Garamantians and Garama

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Germa, Garama and the Garamantians

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Germa, the Garamantians and Garama
Germa, the Garamantians and Garama
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germa from Ubari Dunes
Germa from the Ubari Dunes
Garamantians, Garama and Germa

South of the Ubari sand dunes and of the Ubari Lakes lies the town of Germa in the fertile and green Wadi al-Hayat (Wadi al-Ajal of old). The ancient town of Garama now lies abandoned and in ruins near the modern Germa. It was founded in about 1 AD at a time that the Garamantian people were a very dynamic and flourishing community. They even successfully led expeditions against the Romans in the north. They brought life to the deserts with irrigation channels and introduced wheeled transport and horses. They controlled much of the south western areas of Libya from about 900BC to 500AD when gradually they lost their dominance, probably as a result of the water table dropping in the area (through over-irrigation).

Now little is to be seen amongst the ruins of the old town. The new town is however prospering and growing amongst the well-irrigated green palms, fruit trees and fields of alfalfa and wheat.

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ALW 23/3/05