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A risky Tangier shortcut....

The Phoenician necropolis.....

30 °C

Most visitors and historians prefer to visit the ancient Necropolis either by the steep walk from the Medina through to the Kasbah, but there is another way much shorter but more risky using the ancient footsteps carved out of the rock face leading from the Route de Plage Mercala boulevard directly to the excavated tombs after exiting the port and turning right at the roundabout.

Part of the footpath has now collapsed and a deep chasm prevents further progress on foot, however it's still possible to bypass the collapsed section by clambering to the right on ascent over the boulder rock to where the footpath resumes up to the necropolis. The site is popular with locals and tourists alike, providing superb views of distant Spain over the Gibraltar Strait on a clear day with no cloud, and locals seem to have negotiating the shortcut down to a fine art, but tourists should take care, especially if there has been recent rainfall which will make the footsteps slippery.

A tourist trail information board is mounted at the entrance to the necropolis giving detailed history of the Phoenicians and the burial site, many of the recovered period artifacts have now been stored or on display in the Kasbah museum.....


The tourist trail information board reads ( verbatim)....

The famous ancient graves that made the Punic-Roman necropolis of Hafa on the cliff of the plateau of Hafa is located approximately 450 metres from the rampart of the Kasbah. Most of the graves face the sea, but a small number is located on the south alongside Rue Ibn al Abbar ( once called Paseo Cenarra.)
By their location, the graves indicate the location of the old gates of Tangier that delimit the area of the ancient city on the west side. 96 graves were exhumed by the early excavations undertaken in 1910 and by the last ones accomplished in 1960. More than 50 of them were shaped in the form of a box engraved in the rocks. Each grave is approximately 70 centimetre depth, 1.80 metre long, and 60 centimetres large (wide) however today two dozens of them can be found. Punic and neo-Punic artifacts with Roman material were found in this site in the first century AD when the Romans occupied the region of Tangier. The necropolis was cleaned and emptied from its content to leave place to the creation of new burial places. The final phase of this occupation goes back to the Bas Empire, around the end of the 4th century AD (395-425AD)
Despite the fact that few archeological artifacts were found in the necropolis, those that were discovered are funery objects of great patrimonial importance, the unique sarcophagus of lead is exhibited contains the remains of child, an urn, a small broken glass vase, and fragmants of a small statue.


Posted by Bennytheball 23:50 Archived in Morocco Tagged sites archeological

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I'd never get my husband to come down there. He does not like heights. Can't say I like the look of that path either. Wonderful views though.

by irenevt

I'd never get my husband to come down there. He does not like heights. Can't say I like the look of that path either. Wonderful views though.

by irenevt

I have not yet completed the entire footprint shortcut, I only got as far as the chasm about half way up, the rockface was damp and slippery so I turned back and went up through the Medina and Kasbah. It's also essential to be wearing suitable footwear, I've watched in horror when some of the locals were using the shortcut with only "Babouches" on their feet, these are flimsy leather slippers with open ankles and quite risky, but I expect they have doing this for a few centuries without mishap.

by Bennytheball

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