the front building of Sabratha Museum

The entrance to the newly refurbished Sabratha Museum (Sabratah).

Sabratha Museum

July 2009


After a prolonged closure due to maintenance and structural work, Sabratha Museum is now open to the public. The museum once was known as Sabratha Classical Roman Museum, originally opened in 1932, then was reopened in 1966, and now in 2009. However, we have been able to access only two galleries (as of July 2009) as well as the entrance hall. There are three more galleries which are still closed and expected to open in due course. As you enter the building, the gallery at the end of the corridor (the southern wing) is the Church, which houses massive mosaic wall panels and floors from the Christian Basilica of Justinian. Some of the statues and columns are displayed outdoors in the courtyard, like those visible between the entrance columns (second from right: Serapis), while others are displayed in the hall as you enter the museum. The main gallery room (currently open) contains beautiful Byzantine wall frescos, mostly come from a private house of a wealthy citizen of ancient Sabratha, mosaic panels, and statues from various temples, including the Temple of Zeus and Serapis.




The Goddess Concordiae Africanvs.



the goddess concordia

The Goddess Concordiae Africanvs.


In mythology Concordia was the goddess of Agreement, Understanding and Marital Harmony, who was also known as Harmonia. Her darker side is the goddess Discordia: Disagreement and trouble. The goddess was popular more among the imperial members of the society, and her cult was known as Concordia Augusta (or Majestic Harmony). The goddess was often represented as standing between two members of the Royal House shaking hands, to signify that the agreement between the two is truly blessed.


a group of goddesses







Oceanus or Neptune, originally comes from the Oceanus Baths.



Jupiter, the god of fortune.


a stone sculpture of statues, animals amd birds



Byzantine Town Walls

mosaic fragment

Byzantine wall frescoes



mosaic fragment



mosaic fragment



wall fresco byzantine



mosaic face with eyes closed as if sleep




mosaic designs: petals and leaves

Mosaic panels of leaves (ivy).



mosiac of  Diana the goddess

The head of the Hunting-goddess Diana.




the plan of the museum

Sabratha Museum




mosaic panels of figures

The Four Seasons Mosaic.





Salvomi Avisse, from the theater baths.




The three graces

The Three Graces





mosaic designs








The Church Gallery

the church door

This gallery of the museum is known as "The Church".

Exhibits in this gallery come for the Christian Basilica of the time of Justinian. The church contains an impressive collection of wall and floor mosaic panels, rich in vibrant colours and geometrical designs, animals, birds and characters, as well as columns, column bases, and display cases of clay oil lamps.

oil lamps on display

A collection of clay oil lamps from the Church Gallery.




a cross


The Byzantine Church itself was built in the 6th century AD; but some of the material used, like the square-sided columns and the acanthus motifs, date from an earlier period. The main aisles of the church were lavishly decorated with mosaics, which are currently in display in this gallery. It was a common practice in ancient times to use material taken from earlier temples and buildings. When Carthage was destroyed, its marble columns and slabs were reused in both Italy and North Africa. And, as if this practice acquired genetic signature, the modern Italians (1930s) also used stone blocks taken from archaeological sites to build forts and walls during their occupation of Libya.


the church

The Church

the church

Mosaic from the Basilica of Justinian.
These and other wall mosaics in display originally come from the basilica's two aisles.


the church mosaic floor

Mosaic designs from the Basilica of Justinian (see photo of original site, below.) This rich scene, which includes the peacock (near the top),
originally comes from the central nave of the church.



an old photos of the justinian church


large mosaic designs on a wall

Mosaic from the Basilica of Justinian.


a close up of mosaic designs


the nmedusa




The Hall & The Courtyard

The statues in this section are found in the courtyard and along the entrance hall, standing
between the doors to the various rooms that make up the main galleries or wings of the museum.


statues in the hall by the doors


headless statue

A headless statue ?



broken headless statue

Broken headless statue!



a happy god

Very pleased!



african head sculpture




a goddess    a statue of a goddess




a stone bust of a woman




goddess unknown