Libya opens its doors to the past. (Abstract only; full article requires small fee.)
Drought gripped the Aegean island of Thera in the middle of the seventh century B.C. Desperate, the islanders sent an embassy to Delphi, to ask the oracle of Apollo for advice. The priestess told them to found a colony in Libya. Whether the story is legend or fact--it is recorded variously by poets, historians, and on ancient inscriptions--a Greek colony was established at Cyrene around 630 B.C. on an exceptionally fertile, well-watered plateau eight miles from the coast. The colonists flourished and, for a thousand years, their city was a leading center of commerce and culture in the eastern Mediterranean.
Now, for the first time since 1981, when archeological fieldwork there was suspended because of deepening hostilities between the United States and Libya, the country is open to study and tourism. Archeology magazine presents a special report.