Ghadames or Ghadamis (Arabic: غدامس, Berber: ghdams / ɛadēməs; Libyan vernacular: ġdāməs) is an oasis toun in the wast o Libie. It lies roughly 549 km in the soothwast o Tripoli, near the borders wi Algerie an Tunisie.
The oasis haes a population o 7,000, mainly Berbers. The auld pairt o the toun, which is surroondit bi a wall, haes been declared a Warld Heritage Site o the UNESCO. Each o the seiven clans that uised tae live in this pairt o the toun haed its awn destrict, o which each haed a public place whaur festivals coud be held.
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The etymology o the name Ghadames is vera closely linked wi its history. It is believed that the name Ghadames is oreeginally connectit tae the name o the auncient Berber tribe o Tidamensi, a tribe frae Fezzan. It is an aa believed that the name Tidamensi wis corruptit bi the invadin Romans tae form the name Cydamus, which in turn gave way tae the name Ghadames (Libyan offeecials like this theory acause it servs their goals tae modify the history o the toun).
The alternative theory on the namin convention, as espoused bi the local populace, is that the oasis o Ghadames derives frae the Arabic wirds for lunch - "Ghada" an yesterday "ams." The wirds are contractit tae form an approximation o "lunch yesterday." Bi lore, a group that haed camped near the oasis left materials frae the previous day's campfire ceukoot. When the steward tasked tae retrieve the materials returned tae the site, the huif o his horse broke through tae the water o the oasis that nou lies at the center o the toun. Whether or no this legend haulds true, the oasis wis the reason the toun appeared an remained in this maist remote region o the desert.
The first records aboot Ghadames date frae the Roman period, when the settlement wis kent as Cydamus. In the 1st century BC the Roman proconsul Lucius Cornelius Balbus invadit Cydamus during the reign o emperor Augustus. A permanent Roman garrison wis established durin the reign o Septimius Severus, an the emperor mey hae visitit the settlement aroond 202 AD. Housomeivver, the Romans athdrew frae the aurie a few decades later durin the Crisis o the Third Century.
In the 1970s, the govrenment built new hooses ootside o the auld pairt o the toun. Housomeivver, mony inhabitants return tae the auld pairt o the toun durin the simmer, as its airchitectur provides better protection against the heat.
- Birley, Anthony R. Septimius Severus: The African Emperor. London: Routledge. (2000) . pg 147.