Never before seen remains of a Roman watchtower discovered in Morocco

A team of archaeologists made a ‘ground-breaking’ discovery of an ancient Roman watch tower in Morocco.

Remarkable discovery of a Roman watchtower in Morocco
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Remarkable discovery of a Roman watchtower in Morocco

A group of Polish and Moroccan archaeologists have recently uncovered the first-ever Roman watchtower found in El Mellali which is close to the ancient city of Volubilis in Morocco. The joint project was announced last year in October 2021 when both teams revealed that they would be working together on the research.

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Never seen before

The long structure which was used by the military as an observational tower was built 6.4 km south of the largest Roman-occupied cities in this region of Africa, according to Artnet. Previously, such army watchtowers have been found in Romania, Scotland and Germany but none in Morocco until now.

A fellow member of the Polish-Moroccan research group, PhD student from the University of Warsaw and an archaeologist, Maciej Czapski said:

On the basis of satellite images, we selected several sites that have a common feature: an oval plan with a rectangle or a square inscribed in it… On the basis of satellite images, we selected several sites that have a common feature: an oval plan with a rectangle or a square inscribed in it

An exceptional find

The archaeologists spent a significant amount of time researching the place, they relied on satellite pictures of the area which was not an easy task and was time-consuming without ensuring any results, as reported by Hespress. The structure is suspected to be constructed anytime between the 1st century CE and to 3rd century CE.

They also believe that it was heavily used during the rule of Antoninus Pius who reigned as a Roman king from 138–161 CE. As they set out to explore the area, they discovered the foundations of the structure still intact along with the internal staircase on the southern side.

Moreover, several pieces of cobbles stones were uncovered. Some Roman military artefacts like the remains of belts, javelins and nails from shoes were also discovered, which helped the researchers to determine the date of the structure.

Sources used:

-Artnet: First-of-Its-Kind Ancient Roman Watchtower Unearthed in Morocco

-Hespress: First of its kind: Ruins of ancient Roman watchtower found in Morocco

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