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Back to Cyrene May 1993-October 2005

An American mission returns to Libya


View across the Apollo sanctuary at Cyrene, looking toward the seacoast (© Cyrenaica Archaeological Project) [LARGER IMAGE]

Nearly a century ago, a mission from the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) began excavations at Cyrene, a classical site on the eastern coast of Libya. The work came to an abrupt end, however, with the death of its assistant director.

Beginning in 1969, a second American mission, sponsored first by the University of Michigan and then by the University of Pennsylvania, explored much of the Sanctuary of Demeter and Persephone just outside the city walls. This work, too, came to a halt with the increasing conflict between the American and Libyan governments in 1981. Although fieldwork was suspended, publication of the results continued (11 monographs on the excavation have appeared to date).

Today, a new American mission is seeking to return to Cyrene, the Cyrenaica Archaeological Project (CAP), to resume work and renew collaborative efforts with the Libyan Department of Antiquities. Leading the project are Donald White, who directed the excavations begun in 1969, and Susan Kane of Oberlin College, a past AIA vice president for publications. Here we present coverage of AIA and CAP in Libya and at Cyrene from the pages of ARCHAEOLOGY magazine.

The Mystery of DeCou's Assassination
Online Feature, January 13, 2006
The murder at Cyrene of Herbert Fletcher DeCou on the morning of March 11, 1911, has never been solved.


Libya Has It All
From the President, September/October 2005

AIA President Jane Waldbaum writes of her recent travels to the country's ancient and historical sites

Photo by Jane C. Waldbaum


A Dream Come True
In This Issue, September/October 2005

Peter Young, editor-in-chief of ARCHAEOLOGY, talks with AIA vice president Susan Kane about the new American mission to Cyrene

Photo © Cyrenaica Archaeological Project


Return to Cyrene
Abstract, September/October 2005

American archaeologists are back at one of the eastern Mediterranean's most important classical sites after a 23-year hiatus. by Mark Rose

Photo © Cyrenaica Archaeological Project


Tales from the Archives
From the President, May/June 1993

Former AIA President Jim Russell on the mysterious murder of Herbert Fletcher De Cou at Cyrene in 1911

For more about Cyrene, the Demeter and Persephone sanctuary, and the new American mission, see the website of the Cyrenaica Archaeological Project at www.cyrenaica.org.

© 2006 by the Archaeological Institute of America