The site of the original Phoenician settlement was probably on the promontory protecting the harbour. The harbour was reconstructed as part of the aggrandisement of Lepcis Magna under Emperor L. Septimius Severus. At the mouth of the Wadi Lebdah, the harbour basin is 24 acres. As this photo shows, the quays included warehouses, a watch-tower and a temple. However the mooring blocks on the quays show no wear, suggesting that the harbour (on the right in the photo below, taken facing almost directly South on the eastern promontory) silted up almost immediately and has remained so ever since.

Photo ©1995 Stuart Laidlaw, Michael Halliwell, Institute of Archaeology, UCL