Ancient Olive Presses and Oil Production in Cyrenaica (North-East Libya)

Ancient Olive Presses and Oil Production in Cyrenaica (North-East Libya)


This masterly study presents the first comprehensive overview of olive oil production in Cyrenaica, North-East Libya, during the mid to late Roman period. The evidence collected by the author overturns previous assumptions about the small-scale of this industry and convincingly demonstrates its economic importance in both urban and rural settings. The typology and characteristics of Cyrenaican pressing elements and gazetteer of sites confirm this work as an essential reference volume for studies of ancient production and open up questions about Cyrenaica’s role in producing olive oil for local, regional and Mediterranean markets.


By Ahmed M.A. Buzaian

British Institute for Libyan and Northern African Studies Open Access Monograph 3

Please note: for the eBook version of this title there are online appendices which can be found on the Open Access eBooks page of this website. Follow this link to download the appendices.

About the Author

Ahmed Mustafa Buzaian was awarded his first degree in archaeology in 1984 from Benghazi University, Libya. This was followed by an MA (1994) and PhD (2019) in Archaeology from the University of Leicester. He was a lecturer in classical archaeology in the Department of Archaeology, Benghazi University from 1994 to 2012. A very experienced field archaeologist, he was the director of training excavations at Benghazi University on the ancient site of Teucheira (modern Tocra) from 1994-2012, and at the Omer al-Mokhtar University at Balagrae (modern al-Beida) from 2001 to 2006; as well as co-director of the Anglo/Libyan excavations at Euesperides (1995-2006). His interests focus on Roman archaeology and the evidence for olive oil production in Cyrenaica and its economic implications; and finding ways to tackle the unprecedented threat to Libyan heritage.

210 x 297 mm, 176 pages; photographs, plans, drawings and maps

Publication Date: October 2022

ISBN 978-1-915808-00-4


  • Paperback: Members: £30; Non-members: £40 from Oxbow Books
  • e-Book: available via the Open Access page of this website