Archaeologists discover an observation tower built by the Roman army near Volubilis

A team of Polish and Moroccan archaeologists discovered, for the first time, an observation tower built and used by the Roman army in the former province of Mauretania Tingitane, near the site of Volubilis.

The tower was erected on the southern border of the ancient Roman province at a distance of about 2 km from the nearest garrison and about 6.5 km south of the ancient city of Volubilis, a statement from the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Morocco.

Work on the site has been ongoing since 2021 under a cooperation agreement between the University of Warsaw and the Institute of Archeology and Cultural Heritage (INSAP) in Rabat under the direction of Professors Aomar Akerraz and Radoslaw Karasiewicz -Szczypiorski.

The joint findings confirm the presence of a Roman army at the site of El Mellali, a breakthrough in the study of the defense system of the valley in which Volubilis, the largest city in this part of Roman Africa, is located , explains the same source.

Of all the provinces of the Roman Empire, Mauretania Tingitana had the least recognized defense system, the statement recalls, noting that previous missions working in the field had proposed the locations of a series of watchtowers, but no one had previously excavated such sites.

This is the first time that it has been possible to prove that similar towers existed, notes the same source, indicating that fragments of pilum (Roman javelins), were found on the site, as well as nails soles of military sandals and metallic elements of the cingulum (military belt), which confirms the military vocation of the site discovered.

“The foundations of the Roman defense tower are a magnificent testimony to the Roman defense system around Volubilis, thanks to the excellent cooperation between Polish and Moroccan archaeologists”welcomed the Polish ambassador to Morocco, Krzysztof Karwowski, quoted by the press release, stressing that he expects ” looking forward to their new discoveries.

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