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Contribution to the study of the elite's habitat in rural areas in medieval Morocco: some reflections based on the Qasba of Îgîlîz, cradle of the Almohad movement





International audience The objective of the paper is to provide some preliminary thoughts on the archaeological approach to the housing of rural elites in medieval Morocco. The excavations of Îgîlîz (province of Taroudant, Morocco) is currently providing crucial information about the cultural and material environment in the birthplace of the Almohad movement, lead in the early 1120 years by Ibn Tûmart in his homeland, in the heart of the Central Anti-Atlas. The special nature of this site, largely deserted after the 12th century, the fact that he has remained completely untouched by archaeological work until its discovery in 2004, the exceptional nature of archaeological artefacts founded there, are already a very important milestone for our understanding not only of early almohadism, but also og the daily life of a mountain society during medieval times in the pre-Saharan regions of the Maghreb. The analysis of the residential complex located at the top of Îgîlîz mountain –what we now called the "Qasba"– can highlight, beyond the arrangement of spaces and the necessary hierarchy it involves, how the architectural language reports social distinction in the rural areas. The contribution allows to lay the foundations of a new reflection on the relationship between archaeological analysis of material remains and anthropological and social reading, from the case study of Îgîlîz.

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