The Lixus archeological site has been restored and will open to the public in April.
Rabat – The Ministry of Culture and Communication announced on February 24 the opening of the 12th-century archaeological site of Lixus.
Lixus, located near Larache on Morocco’s Atlantic coast, will open to the public when work has been completed, scheduled for April.
The ministry said in a statement received by Morocco World News, that the archaeological site “is of historical importance and exceptional value.” The ministry spent MAD 10 million to build barriers around the site and create a center to introduce its heritage.
Lixus is an Amazigh (Berber) name that means “golden apples” in Arabic.
The statement added that the ministry has spent an additional MAD 1.8 million to establish stores for antique pieces, a conference hall, and a reception space, as well as improving and preparing routes to access the site and valuing its components.
The ministry partnered with the Italian embassy, the Italian Agency for Cooperation and Development (AICS), and the University of Siena to carry out the works.
The site’s opening is within the framework of Heritage Month, held every year from April 18 to May 18.
Minister of Culture and Communication Mohamed Laaraj recently visited the archaeological site to supervise the progress of the works.
The city of Lixus is the oldest archaeological site in Morocco and one of the oldest Phoenician establishments in the western Mediterranean. It is located north-east of Larache, a city on the Atlantic Ocean between Rabat and Tangier, on the right bank of the Lokos River.
According to historical sources, the city of the “golden apples” was built in 1180 B.C. by an Amazigh King of the ancient kingdom of Mauretania. The city experienced major development during the reign of Amazigh King Juba II during the 1st century B.C.
Most of Lixus has not been excavated, and so far only 10 percent of the area has been uncovered, despite its defining importance to Larache.
According to UNESCO data, the site of Lixus is one of the most important sites that Morocco has succeeded in including in the World Heritage List. Lixus joined the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Morocco in 1995.