Monday, January 4, 2016

Volubilis - Day 5

Processional Gate
We headed off to the Roman ruins next at Volubilis. It is both a UNESCO site and a current archaeological site, with summers filled with archaeologists and students as they work in the ruins. It is probably most famous for the gorgeous mosaics and colorful tiles depicting Roman mythology. Considering how much of the site was plundered for building materials, it's amazing that the mosaics were so well preserved.

During the 3rd century, it was the capital of Idris, as well as an important outpost of the Roman Empire. It was located in a fertile agricultural area, one of the frontiers of the Roman Empire. The Romans built a number of major public buildings including a basilica, temple as well as a triumphal arch. It was a prosperous community, primarily from olive growing, prompting many people to build town-houses with the large mosaic floor the area is famous for. When it was finally taken from the Romans, it continued to be inhabited by various other groups that settled in the area. 

Much of the ruins actually were intact until the Portuguese earthquake in the 1700's. The demise of the area was hastened when much of the stone was removed by various Moroccan rulers as they searched for stone to build Meknes. One the site was partially excavated and identified as Volubilis, it was eventually designated as a World Heritage Site.
Note the bird nest on the right

I’ve got to take a bit of a bird walk... We’ve noticed, frequently, as we’ve toured around Morocco, that there are these birds, big birds, BIG birds who build big nests – BIG nests! Here are a few snapshots of these critters from around the country…

No comments:

Post a Comment