Idea #426 – Exploring the antique city of Volubilis
Volubilis is an antique city founded in the IIIth century before J.C., which becomes a Roman outpost mattering from 40 before J.C. In an exceptional state of preservation, it offers an example of colonial city to the fringe of Roman Empire. The city, surrounded with a leaky outer wall of eight doors, sees its monumental architecture developing particularly in the IIth century, following the economic enrichment of the region connected to the trade of the olive oil trade. Follows the construction of a Capitol, a new forum, a basilica and thermal baths, as well as the construction of a triumphal arch by Caracalla, who steps over the decumanus maximus, over border between the punico-Hellenistic city and its extension in the Northeast during the roman time.
This enrichment is also translated in the architecture deprived by the construction of vast villas provided with beautiful mosaics. The region, considered indefensible, is abandoned by the Roman imperial authorities in 285. The city, the Christianized urban community then quoted Muslim, continue to be inhabited during seven centuries. The idrisside dynasty, considered as founder of Morocco, is based there in the VIIIth century.
In the XIth century the site is abandoned and the population is transferred to 5 km from there, towards the city of Moulay Idriss Zerhoun. The city does not undergo consequent damages it seems up to an earthquake in the middle of the XVIIIth century. Afterward ruins are used a quarry of material, in particular for the constructions of Meknes. Identified late with the XIXth century, the site is a part of the heritage protected from Morocco since 1921. It is the object of archaeological excavations since the beginning of the XXth century and half has been excavated. The quality of finds and site ended in its inscription on the list of the world heritage by the UNESCO.
Where is it ?
Volubilis, Fès, Maroc