There are many ancient ruins in Africa and one of the most famous is the valuable Volubilis in Morroco. In this post of ajonafrica.com, we are going to dive into the ancient ruin that has been described as the best-preserved Roman ruins in Morroco.
The city of Volubilis is an archaeological site located near Mekners, a city in the north central part of Morroco. According to the records of archaeology, the city is said to have been occupied from the prehistoric era, all the way to the Islamic period. Archaeology has again recorded that the best known inhabitants of Volubilis were the Romans.
The Phoenicians, and the Carthaginians subsequently inhabited the city. It was during the 3rd century BC that Volubilis was established as the capital of the kingdom of Mauretania. The rulers of the city became Romans clients kings, but they lost their kingdom to the Romans in around 44 AD in the hands of the Roman Emperor Claudius
The Romans acquired the city and added Mauretania to their empire. It was during the 20th century that the city gained the recognition of it former glory. Currently, Volubilis is a UNESCO World Heritage Site .
Volubilis can be found at the foot of Jebel Zerhoun. The Roman city Volubilis was founded following the annexation of Mauretania, and the city eventually became a very important metropolis and administrative and economic center of the Roman province of Mauretania Tingitana.
The Romans rule over the city of Volubilis and their rule ended at the end of the 3rd century AD. The Romans did not attempt to conquer the city again after they abandoned the city. History says they deterred from recapturing the city because, it would have been to expensive to do so at the time. More also, the city was difficult to defend.
Nevertheless, Volubilis continued to serve as the administrative center of the Romans until the 11 century, when a nearby city called Fez, gained more economic recognition. During the 17th century, Volubilis was pillaged by Moulay Ismail ibn Sharif, the second ruler of the Moroccan Alaouite Dynasty. Marble columns and beautiful architectural elements were removed from the ancient Roman city to decorate the king’s palaces in his capital, Meknes. In 1755, Portugal was struck by the Great Lisbon earthquake. The magnitude of this earthquake was so strong that it caused damage and destruction in Morocco. Volubilis was one of the Moroccan cities severely affected by this disaster, and it has been suggested that it was responsible for the city’s final abandonment.
Morroco became a French protectorate in 1912. French Archaeologists began to excavate the ancient city three years later. The excavation of the city continued and the results were that, vestiges of the Roman city were revealed. Some of the Roman remains that can be seen today include the city’s Decumanus Maximus (the main street with an east-west orientation that divides the city in half), behind which many houses of the wealthy may be found, the Capitoline Temple, as well as a number of other temples, and olive presses.
The ancient city Volubilis was now considered to be one of the best-preserved Roman ruins in Morocco.