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A great application for visiting the Moroccan Middle Ages, from Agadir to Igiliz and Sijilmasa


Named “La Route des Empires”, a fantastic application allows you to visit the major archaeological sites of the Moroccan Middle Ages. As shown in the map above, this latest generation tool released recently, still little known, allows you to deepen your knowledge on Agadir Oufella, that is to say the Kasbah being rehabilitated, and on Igiliz, rocky spur, starting point of a religious revolution which would lead to the founding of the Almohad Empire. If these two sites are famous today, four others, which are less famous, or not at all, are detailed on this application : Nul Lamta, near Guelmim, of which a rocky ridge would be the location of this ancient caravan town, but also Akka Tamdoult, Zagora and Sijilmasa. This application can be downloaded from the site https://laroutedesempires.ma

In the Middle Ages, the six sites thus highlighted stretched over nearly 1'000 kilometers along one of the most important trade routes in Africa at that time. La Route des Empires started from Tafilalet, in the north, to the oued Noun, south of current Guelmim. From the Almoravids to the Saadians, who left their traces in Agadir and Taroudant, passing through the Almohads and the Merinids, the medieval Berber dynasties never ceased to control this route. As this map shows, the Almohads exercised their influence as far as Libya and the Almoravids as far as northern Senegal, which does not fail, today, to give grist to the mill. Kingdom regarding its claim to the formerly Spanish Sahara.

One of the advantages of the “La Route des Empires” application lies in the 3D visualization of each of the six sites observed. On this image, it is the one dedicated to Igiliz. The inlaid numbers refer to constructions, defensive systems or even vegetation. The number 15, for example, gives very precise details about the largest cistern discovered at Igiliz, which remained in use, we are told, until the 16th-17th centuries.

In Tafilalet, the city of Sijilmâsa linked North Africa to the kingdoms of the Sahel and as such was a major location for medieval trans-Saharan trade. The ruins that remain there in a very dilapidated state are documented by the application with stunning attention to detail. We read that in this sector four types of rammed earth mark two construction episodes, from the middle of the 15th century.

The “La Route des Empires” application was developed (image) by the Moroccan Ministry of Youth, Culture and Communication in partnership with the Jacques-Berque Center in Rabat and the French Embassy, as well as in cooperation with the Moroccan Regions concerned. The tablet is the most suitable support for use it on the sites. Happy discoveries!

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