The 8th-century archeological site was an important trade center in the Maghreb.
Rabat – The Ministry of Culture and Communication has announced that the Sijilmassa archaeological site will soon be accessible to the public.
The ministry’s culture department said in a statement that maintenance and development works are ongoing on the historic site to modernize it and expand its reception capacity.
The statement added that the site will be open to the public as soon as renovation is complete.
The ministry has allocated MAD 1 million ($104,000) for the restoration of “The House of the Researcher,” a residence for Moroccan and foreign archaeological students and researchers when visiting the site.
The ministry’s action program for the archaeological site also focuses on the study and classification of relics, the establishment of a conservation unit, and a center to preserve and enhance the site’s wealth.
The ministry aims to promote the site as a tourist destination by improving its reception services.
Sijilmassa, southeastern Morocco, was founded in 757 by the Zenata Amazigh tribe. It was a medieval Moroccan city that served as an important trade center in the Maghreb during the middle ages. In the year 1000, approximately 100,000 people lived in the city.
The ancient city experienced a series of invasions by several Amazigh (Berber) dynasties before it was abandoned in A.D. 1339.
The preservation of Morocco’s unique cultural identity has been one of the hallmarks of King Mohammed VI’s cultural policy. The renovation initiative is part of the ministry’s strategy to preserve and enhance archaeological sites and historic monuments.