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Man was already roaming along the Atlantic shoreline, as far back as 800,000 BC, as is evidenced by artifacts unearthed in Casablanca – the most ancient finds ever discovered in North Africa . Towards 5000 BC, settlers from the Near East co-existed and intermixed with the indigenous inhabitants of . These newcomers were the ancestors of the Berbers, their numbers further increased through Mediterranean relations.

Pastoral Age

Around 1600 BC, during the Bronze Age, Berber shepherds carved images on the rocks of the High Atlas : daggers, spears, axes, and shields – items utilised by the Mauritanians in the two major activities of the epoch, hunting and fishing.


Between 800 and 600 BC : entered into history. Libyo-Berber script, invented by the Berbers, made its first appearance in the Atlas, and Phoenician letters are.

4th Century BC

The Birth of the Greeks called the Western Libyans "Maurusians," – a name which the inhabitants of present-day and Western still apply to themselves.

Juba II, who ruled from 25 BC to 23 AD, was made king by Augustus and resided in Volubilis. He describes the country in a book that was later used by Pliny. He set up a manufactory for the production of purple dye on the island of Mogador, just off Essaouira, and sent his navy to take the Canary Islands.

42 AD : The Roman Conquest

The armies of Rome took control of Cebta , which they divided into two provinces. Tingitane in the west, became increasingly important both in terms of agriculture and trade thanks to their building of roads. Tingis, Lixus, Volubilis and Benassa developed. The Romans continued to exert influence in the south until 285 and in the north until 429, when it was overrun by the Vandals, It seems that from 533, Byzantine and then Visigoth fleets occupied Ceuta and Essaouira, but little remains as a record of this.

Islam Introduction in Morocco

in 682, Oqbah Ibn Nâfi`i, founder of Kairouan, managed to extend control continuing the process of conversion to Islam. In 711, the Berber chief, Târiq Ibn Zyâd, landed in Gibraltar. Crisis of the Caliphate : Muslim control was consolidated despite the Kingdoms arising with dissident religious doctrines, such as the Kharidjite Kingdom of Sijilmassa, in Tafilalt and the Kingdom of Barghouta on the Atlantic Coastline

In 740, a major revolt against the authority of Damas, seat of the Omeyyâd Caliphate, broke out. Gradually, started to slip from their control, and fragment into a patchwork of kingdoms and principalities.

The Idrissids

In 788 the first Muslim dynasty, of Middle-Eastern origin, came to power and in 791 Morocco effectively came into being Idriss I, descendant of Ali, the Prophet’s son-in-law, fled from Arabia to escape the massacre of his family, settled in Volubilis and founded Fez, which, after his death in 792 at the hands of Haroun el-Rachid, was declared capital of the Kingdom by his son and successor, Idriss II, who from 803 onwards devoted himself to its expansion. Following his death in 828, his sons, and then, his brothers, took over administration of the Kingdom. Economic life went from strength to strength and in 857 and 859, the magnificent Kairouan and Andalusian mosques were built in Fez . At the beginning of the 11th century, the Idrissids became the Caliphs of Cordoba, remaining so until the division of brought about the decline and disappearance of their dynasty in 1055.

The Almoravids

A Berber Dynasty originating from the Western Sahara , their name in Arabic, "Al-Murâbitûn" means warrior-priests. Their Sultan Yûûf Ibn Tâchfine had the future capital of the Kingdom, Marrakesh , built around the year 1070 and then strove to bring about the political unification of and Muslim Spain. Under his leadership, Andalusian civilisation spread across the Maghreb, and Almoravid troops captured Spanish territories as far as the Ebro . Ali Ben Yûûf, his son, succeeded him in 1106, and ruled for 37 years.

The Almohads

Originating from the High Atlas, their Arabic name, "Al-Muwahhid

ûn" (the Unitarians), an affirmation of the Unicity of God, this Berber Dynasty’s founder was Ibn Toumert, a preacher in Tin-Mal (in the High Atlas).

His disciple, Abdelmoumen, chose Marrakesh as capital, building the Koutoubia Mosque there. He founded the Almohad Empire and managed to unify North Africa , but died in Rabat in 1163 before he could annex Andalusia to his Empire. This was to be his successor, Ya`cub Al-Mansû’s achievement, emerging victorious against the Portuguese and the Spanish at the Battle of Alarcos in 1195. After his death, military failures led to the division of the Empire and the rejection of Ibn Toumert’s religious system.

The Merinids

Nomadic Berbers of Zanâta stock, originating from the Muluya basin, this Dynasty made Fez their capital built Fez El-Jedid and numerous Medersas including the El-Attarine and AbûInân Medersas, and the Merinid Medersa in Salé. They had taken advantage of the decline of the Almohad Empire, and laid their hands on Fez , Rabat , Salé, as well as the fertile plains of Saiss and the Gharb. In 1269, the Merinid Sultan, Abûûûf Ya`cub, captured Marrakesh , putting an end to the Almohad Dynasty.

As supreme chief of the Merinid Dynasty, AbûEl-Hassan attempted to reconstitute the Empire in 1331, conquering Tlemcen in and Tunis in 1347 but failing to keep control of and Algeciras in 1340.

In 1348, the Bubonic Plague and rebellions in Tlemcen and Tunis marked the decline of the Merinids who could no longer keep out the Portuguese and the Spanish, an inability shared by their successors, the Wattasids, thus enabling the Iberians to settle along the Moroccan coast. Resistance against the settlers took shape within religious brotherhoods and around marabouts leading to the emergence of the Saadian Dynasty.

The Saadians

A Cherifian Dynasty (the word derives from "Shorfa",meaning descendants of the Prophet Mohammed) originating from the Drâa Valley , they chose Marrakesh as their capital. In 1578, Ahmed Al-Mansûr Eddahbi became sultan,gaining renown for his arduous victory in the Battle of the Three Kings, at Oued El-Makhâzine, and for the conquest of Timbuktu , from whence he brought back gold. His reign saw the building of the El-Badi Palace and the development of the sugar and arms industries. His reign ended in 1602.

The Alaouites

The Alaouite Dynasty is the name of the current Moroccan Royal Family.

It’s a Dynasty originating in the Shorfa of Tafilalet,emerged, in the mid- 15th century and first imposed their authority over the country in 1666. Their founder and spiritual leader, Moulay Ali Cherif, and his successors (namely Mohammed Ben Ali Cherif who was proclaimed Sultan in 1640) who sought to re-unite , carrying out an economic and military strategy.

Moulay Ismael acceded to the throne in 1672,building upon the achievements of his predecessors. The Sultan began by building the City of Meknès , naming it as the capital of the Kingdom. After re-capturing Larache and Tangiers, Moulay Ismael overthrew local religious and political authorities so founding the Cherifian Empire. His rule extended as far as establishing a network of fortresses from where his army of regular soldiers operated.He thereafter devoted his time and energy to establishing positive diplomatic relations with foreign powers, particularly during the reigns of Louis XIV of and JamesII.

After his death in 1727, Sidi Mohamed Ibn Abdellah (Mohammed III) acceded to the throne In 1757. An ardent Muslim, all he thought about was to bring peace and security to the country. He was welcomed as a providential man and his proclamation took the character of a real plebiscite. As soon as he took over, he cut taxes, adopted a sound currency and reconstituted a new army recruited from the Guich tribes. He devoted himself to fortifying Moroccan ports and had the chance to recover Mazagan from the Portuguese (1769).

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