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20 August 2004
Prehistoric town found in Moroccan desert

The remains of a prehistoric town believed to date back 15,000 years and belong to an ancient Berber civilisation have been discovered in Western Sahara, Moroccan state media says. A team of Moroccan scientists stumbled across the sand-covered ruins of the town Arghilas deep in the desert of the Morocco-administered territory.
     The remains of a place of worship, houses and a necropolis, as well as columns and rock engravings depicting animals, were found at the site near the town of Aousserd in northeastern Western Sahara. The isolated area is known to be rich in prehistoric rock engravings but experts said the discovery could be significant if proven that the ruins were of Berber origin as this civilisation is believed to date back only some 9,000 years. "It appears that scientists have come up with the 15,000-years estimate judging by the style of the engravings and the theme of the drawings," said Mustapha Ouachi, a Rabat-based Berber historian.

Source: Reuters (19 August 2004)

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