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Aghmat (ancient Almorovide capital)

Castril De La Pena...
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Aghmat (ancient Almorovide capital)

Aghmat is the ancient Almorovide capital, situated south of Marrakech and to the east of the main road to Ourika. I've worked out the GPS waypoint and you can make out the ruins/excavations on Google Earth. The hammam in particular looks impressive, …wordpress.com/2012/…

I'm hoping to see the excavations of in early June, inshalla. Has anyone visited this?

I'm also hoping to see the ruins of Sijilmasa which are near Rissani. It is reckoned that around 1200 years ago caravans of 10,000 camels at a time made the journey south to trade salt for gold.

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=Zo2UVs_Sr68C&pg=PA130&lpg=PA130&dq=ancient+caravans+sijilmasa&source=bl&ots=6dgy0YcmLk&sig=XdR7xBAYHTc2IsvzEpNp6ocKgtc&hl=en&sa=X&ei=tk6mT5HYCoKd8gPFivnLBA&ved=0CF8Q6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=ancient%20caravans%20sijilmasa&f=false

Edited: 06 May 2012, 11:17
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Marrakech
Marrakech
Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region, Morocco
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1. Re: Aghmat (ancient Almorovide capital)

Very Interesting indeed!

Thanks for the info on google!

Best : )

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2. Re: Aghmat (ancient Almorovide capital)

I think I will try to work in the Aghmat site this summer--thanks Tom.

Thornton Cleveleys...
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3. Re: Aghmat (ancient Almorovide capital)

I wonder if this is the same hammam as was shown in the BBC4 programe Lost Kingdoms Of Africa: The Berbers?

It was a programme on in February and was really very interesting. He visited a recently excavated hammam and it looked incredible. Beyond incredible actually.

I think I'll try and get out to see it when we are there in a couple of weeks.

Thanks so much for the information Tim

Marrakech, Morocco
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4. Re: Aghmat (ancient Almorovide capital)

Indeed. Who is Tom?

Castril De La Pena...
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5. Re: Aghmat (ancient Almorovide capital)

Yes, it's the same hammam as shown in the television programme. If you want to view the area in Google Earth, the waypoint for the excavation is N31 25.370 W7 48.240 (just paste this waypoint into the search box).

From Marrakech you head south on the P2017 towards Ourika, and when you see the signpost linked below (posted originally by Truebeliever to illustrate something totally different!), you turn left for about 2km.

tripadvisor.com/ReviewPhotos-g293730-d479067…

The 'A' in Aghmat is often swallowed, and 'gh' is an 'R' sound, which is why it's written here as Rhmat.

Thornton Cleveleys...
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6. Re: Aghmat (ancient Almorovide capital)

Thank you SO much for this, you are a star. When I saw the programme I meant ot find out where it actually was and then totally forgot about it until I read your post.

We're staying near Tameslouht in the second week of our holiday, with a wonderful Moroccan couple who are kind enough to have offered to take us out on excursions.

We're planning a trip to Ouirgane one day so could detour via Aghmat.

I've been Googling to see if the hammam is open to the public or not but I'm struggling to find out if you can actually enter the building itself or just observe the excavations from outside?

There is an archeological tour in October led by Professor Messier but not a lot of other info! Probably a case of popping along and seeing how things stand when you get there.

Marrakech, Morocco
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7. Re: Aghmat (ancient Almorovide capital)

My husband and I visited Aghmat recently and it was indeed interesting. There is a guardian there who takes you around the site and in the little shack where he lives onsite he has small broken bits of pottery and tiling from the mosque that once stood there. Somehow we managed to get by with a few words of arabic - the guardian does not speak any english or french. Naturally we gave him some money for showing us around, but I think it's worth pointing out that he is a guardian and not a guide, so don't expect too much info. Enjoy your visit.

Thornton Cleveleys...
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8. Re: Aghmat (ancient Almorovide capital)

thank you MrsSchwez, that sounds brilliant. Really looking forward to seeing it now

there's a snippet of interesting information here yacout.info/Ron-Messier-Sijilmasa-and-Aghmat…

Edited: 06 May 2012, 21:43
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9. Re: Aghmat (ancient Almorovide capital)

Typo Pilo--slow day in Marrakesh? Thanks Tim.

Thornton Cleveleys...
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10. Re: Aghmat (ancient Almorovide capital)

Well, we went to Aghmat and the hammam was closed! By which I mean that the guardian wasn't there and the rather insubstantial bamboo gate was padlocked shut.

There was a phone number scrawled at the top of the gate and our friend (who is Moroccan) called it and spoke to the guardian. He has apparantly been told that he is not to let members of the public in to disturb the site - but he is allowed to show people round if there are only a few of them.

He asked us not to try and climb over the little gate, as he would get into trouble, but said that we could go and explore the excavations of the palace situated opposite, as they are not guarded at all.

So, the upshot is that we only saw the hammam building from outside, which was a huge disappointment, but we did spend some time at the palace ruins. They are fascinating in themselves. the detail still evident is quite incredible.

I'll get the phone number of the guardian (I forgot to write it down) and pop it here so that anyone wishing to see the hammam can call ahead and check that there will be someone to let them in.

With luck we'll see it next year and, who knows, maybe there will have been even more of the site uncovered.

Again, huge thanks to Tim for bringing this to our attention. Our friends had never heard of it and they live in the vicinity so they were really glad that we told them about it too!