Morocco: History (part 1)

Morocco: History (part one)

If you are interested in tours and excurions around imperial cities and historical places you may also be interested in knowing a little bit about the history of morocco

Prehistoric Morocco
In 1971 the fossilised bones of a 400,000 year old early human ancestor was discovered at Sale. In 1991 the bones of several very early Homo sapiens were discovered at Jebel Irhoud that are at least 160,000 years old[1]. In 2007 small perforated sea shell beads were discovered in Taforalt that are 82,000 years old, which makes them the earliest evidence of personal adornment yet found anywhere in the world.

The Capsian culture brought Morocco into the Neolithic about 2001 BC, at a time when the Maghreb was less arid than it is today. The Berber language probably was formed at roughly the same time as agriculture, and was developed by the existing population and adopted the immigrants who arrived later. Modern DNA analysis has confirmed that various populations have contributed to the present-day gene pool of Morocco in addition to the main ethnic group which is the Amazighs/Berbers. A very small percentage of those other populations are Iberians and sub-Saharan Africans.

In Mesolithic ages the geography of Morocco resembled a savanna more than the present day arid landscape. While little is known about Morocco settlement in these early times, excavations elsewhere in the Maghreb suggest an abundance of game and forests that would have been hospitable to Mesolithic hunters and gatherers.

The coastal regions of present-day Morocco shared in an early Neolithic culture that was common to the whole Mediterranean littoral. Archaeological remains point to the domestication of cattle and the cultivation of crops in the region during that period. Eight thousand years ago, south of the great mountain ranges in what is now the Sahara Desert, a vast savanna supported Neolithic hunters and herders whose culture flourished until the region began to desiccate as a result of climatic changes after 4000 BC.

Phoenicians on the coast
Phoenician traders, who had penetrated the western Mediterranean before the 12th century BC, set up depots for salt and ore along the coast and up the rivers of the territory that is now Morocco. The arrival of Phoenicians heralded many centuries of rule by foreign powers for the north of Morocco. Major early substantial settlements of the Phoenicians were at Chellah, Lixus and Mogador, with Mogador being a Phoenician colony as early as the early 6th century BC. Carthage developed commercial relations with the Berber tribes of the interior and paid them an annual tribute to ensure their cooperation in the exploitation of raw materials.

By the 5th century BC, Carthage had extended its hegemony across much of North Africa. By the 2nd century BC, several large, although loosely administered, Berber kingdoms had emerged.

Read Part two here

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