Leptis Magna map is first on Google

Why is my scan of a site plan of the ancient Roman City of Leptis Magna in Libya getting a consistently high number of views?

Leptis Magna site plan (Al Khums, Libya)

Of the over 4,000 images I’ve uploaded to my Flickr account so far, this one pops up fairly regularly with the highest number of daily views. I’m curious as, well, it’s not that awesome an image, so why is it so popular?

I did a Google image search for Leptis Magna map, and although my scan is the 11th image, it is the first map of the city that shows any real detail that would actually be useful. That explains it.


The market square in Leptis Magna

Leptis Magna was a prominent city of the Roman Empire, but dates back to around 1100 BCE and was founded by the Phoenicians. It lies on the Mediterranean in Libya, about 130 km east of Tripoli. What makes the city such a wonder of the ancient world is that it has been buried by the Sahara Desert since antiquity and is incredibly well preserved (earthquake damage notwithstanding). In fact, the major part of the city is yet to be excavated, and because it is in Libya, it’s not overrun by tourists either.

More photos of Leptis Magna

I went to Libya last year to see Leptis Magna and Sabratha - an equally impressive ancient city and a Unesco World Heritage Site. I was made to feel very welcome by the Libyan people and would recommend going to anyone who has an interest in such things but can’t face the hoards of tourists that swarm over places like Ephesus or Pompeii . In fact, Libya is rich in (relatively unknown) historic sites and artefacts:

“The desert represents more than 90% of the Libyan territories, and forming an important Libyan resource, where there are many tourist attraction landmarks, having special interest for the tourists.

This includes the various landmarks, landscapes and big fortune of before history arts, agricultural and urban constructions in villages and habitations in oases, desert lakes, in addition to the distinct folklores and cultures in oases and desert cities.

Such a diversity in desert tourist phenomena in Libya gives several opportunities to perform entertainment, cultural and scientific activities to satisfy the desire of the adventurer tourist and the amateur sportsman tourist through the desert paths, as well as the explorer tourist interesting in researching of all new, the researcher of human cultures and antique heritage, and the studier of nature and history.

Moreover, the natural beauty distinguishing the Libyan desert and its calm, isolation and simplicity of life have characteristics attract the photography amateurs and all who seek for calmness and tranquility.”