Postcard from the ancient site of Cyrene, one of the oldest and most important ancient Greek cities in the region. It gave eastern Libya the classical name Cyrenaica that it has retained to modern times. It was founded in 630 BC, becoming an important centre for philosophy and learning. Cyrene's chief local export through much of its early history was the valuable medicinal herb, silphium, which was in such demand that it was harvested to extinction. This, in conjunction with commercial competition from Carthage and Alexandria, and a series of earthquakes led to the city's decline and abandonment by 400 CE. Many thanks and shukran to friend Shadin who toured Libya on holiday.