Sites & cities that bear the name of Msoura


Today in : Morocco
First trace of activity : ca. 4th century B.C.E
Last trace of activity : ca. 3rd century B.C.E
Recorded names : Mzoura, Mezora, Mçora, M'Zorah, M'Sora, Mzora

Description : Msoura (also Mzoura, Mezora, Mçora, M'Zorah, M'Sora or Mzora) is an archaeological site of a stone circle in northern Morocco. It is located near Chouahed village, 15 kilometers southeast of Asilah, and consists of 167 monoliths surrounding a tumulus 58 m long, 54 m wide, with a height of 6 m. One of the monoliths, known as El Uted (the peg) measures more than 5 m, with the average height of the monoliths being 1.5 m. Legend claims it is the tomb of the giant Antaeus. Dated to the 4th or 3rd century BC, the site probably hints to the beginnings of the Kingdom of Mauretania. Spanish archaeologist César Luis de Montalban started excavating the site in 1935. His work however was interrupted when he was arrested during the Spanish Civil War, and he never published his findings. It is expected that the site would have contained burial and funerary chambers, just like the ones that were found at the burial mounds in Sidi Slimane and Sidi Allal el Bahraoui, Morocco. Miquel Tarradell excavated what was left of the site in the 1950s. He also discovered another smaller stone ring with 16 monoliths nearby. Earlier surveys had suggested that Mzoura stone ring was somehow linked to the civilizations that built Stonehenge and similar structures in Europe. This hypothesis was however rejected by Tarradell, and later also by Gabriel Camps, who both concluded the mound and its stone ring were built as a burial site for a Mauri chief or king by locals using local knowledge. Based on the dating of amphora found in the mound, the site was dated approximately to the 4th or 3rd century BC. The conclusion drawn by Camps and others is that Mzoura cromlech and similar monuments are the vestiges of the emergence process of a powerful confederation or kingdom northwest of Morocco.

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