Morocco Brief History


The deposits relating to the oldest traces of human presence are quite numerous, especially around Casablanca. The exploitation of quarries in Sidi-Abderrahman has allowed the discovery of industries referable to perhaps even pre-Acheulean phases, but above all related to different stages of the country’s Acheulean sequence (SA Cunette, SA Extension, SA East Front, STIC quarry, quarry Thomas, etc.). Several human remains found in these and other locations (Salé, near Rabat, Thomas quarry, Littorine cave in Casablanca, etc.) date back to the Middle Pleistocene and are generally referred to Homo erectus, while for some of the more recent ones (Temara, not away from Casablanca) a regional evolution of Homo erectus versus Homo sapiens. Mousterian industries are known in the basal levels of the Contrebandiers cave (Rabat), at Gebel Irhoud, near Safi (where they are associated with reported cranial remains or with a North African variety of Neanderthals or with a phase of the aforementioned regional evolution starting from Homo erectus), and in the cave of Taforalt (Oujda), where a Mousterian with the Levallois technique is followed by a long sequence with different phases of the Aterian, dated from 34,500 to 32,300 BC. C. ca., and industries from the Upper Palaeolithic to the Epipaleolithic (dated from 21.900 to 10.800 BC ca.), represented by a necropolis with over 180 individuals. The Ateriano is also widespread in numerous other sites, such as the aforementioned cave of the Contrebandiers, where it is dated to ca. 23,700 a. C., El Harhoura (Rabat) where the Aterian levels, between 41,000 and 32,000, are covered by a necropolis of the upper Paleolithic, and Ain Aghbal, with final Aterian and Iberomaurusian. The latter cultural facies is known in several sites including Wadi Mellah, near Casablanca, Gar Cahal (Ceuta) and Sidi Abderrahman Extension.


Probably reached by the Phoenicians already in the century. XII or XI a. C., was the seat of Carthaginian colonies in the century. V, according to the tradition of the Annone circumnavigation. In the sec. IV a. C. there must already have been a kingdom of Mauretania. Conquered and held by the vandals for about a century, the whole of Mauretania was reconquered in the course of the century. VI by the Byzantines, who however controlled only some coastal areas. Shortly after 680 some groups of invading Arabs arrived in Tingitana and made it the basis for their conquest of Spain starting from 711. Relations between the native Berbers and the Arab invaders were not the easiest. Converted to the Kharigite heresy, the Berbers rose up and formed various small principalities, removed from the control of the Arabs (ca. 740). In 788 the first Moroccan dynasty was established, taking its name from the Hydrisites (788-985); the second dynasty, that of the Magharāwa, he tried in vain to free himself from the control that the Umayyads of Córdoba had established over the kingdom. It was short-lived (985-1062). From the state of disorder and decay into which it had fallen, Morocco was raised by a powerful religious-political movement, that of the Almoravids, who created the first Berber state in history (1062-1147). Simultaneously with the decline of the Almoravids, another religious movement soon became political, that of the Almohads., who founded a new powerful Berber dynasty (1147-1269). Its first ruler, Abd al-Mu’min (1147-63), assumed the title of prince of believers and declared the Abbasid caliphs usurpers; he replaced the Almoravids in Spain but then preferred to concentrate his action and authority in North Africa, bringing under his own control the whole territory from the Atlantic to the Gran Sirte, with the help of the Arabs Banū Hilāl, who deported from Tunisia and Algeria in Morocco.

Later the Almohads had to face a family related to the Almoravids, the Banū Ğāniyah who from their residence in the Balearics launched attacks in North Africa. According to usprivateschoolsfinder, these struggles and the defeat suffered at Las Navas de Tolosa by the coalitioned Spanish kings (1212) weakened the Almohad dynasty. The emirs of Tunis and Tlemcen became independent respectively in 1235 and 1236 while the Merinids went on the attack. Occupied Fès and then Marrakech, where they killed the last Almohad, the Merinids began a new dynasty which was later succeeded by that of the Waṭṭāsidi. Under these two dynasties, the attack on the ports of Morocco by the Spanish and Portuguese began, provoking an anti-Christian reaction that favored the affirmation of the Saʽdids, a sheriff dynasty, that is, a descendant of Mohammed, who managed to successfully resist the attacks of the Turks of Algeria no less than those of Spaniards and Portuguese. The death of the great sultan Aḥmad al-Manṣūr (1603) opened a long period of rivalry between the successors with the consequent creation of autonomous republics. A new sheriff dynasty emerged from this chaotic situation: that of the Alawites (1659). The first two sultans reconstituted the unity of the kingdom, while the third, Mūlāy Ismā’īl (1672-1727), dedicated himself to its consolidation, reducing rebel Berber groups to obedience, organizing a large army of black African slaves, snatching from the places they had conquered along the coasts were foreign. Not so lucky was he against the Turks of Algeria and the Spaniards of Ceuta. After his death there were about thirty years of unrest and anarchy, which ended another great sultan, Muḥammad III (1757-90), who, in addition to subduing the dissident Berbers, took away from the Portuguese the last Atlantic center in hand them (Mazagan, 1769) and favored commercial relations with Europe with a series of treaties.

Morocco Brief History