Five new Mauritanian archaeological sites have been added to the heritage list of the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO), according to the Mauritanian Ministry of Culture.
These sites, the best known of which are those of Azougui, Aoudaghost and Koumbi Saleh, were inscribed at the said meeting of the ISESCO Islamic World Heritage Commission on Monday, 2 December 2019, in Rabat, the same source said.
Located in the Adrar region, some 500 kilometres north of Nouakchott, the ancient city of Azougui was founded by the Almoravid ruler, Aboubakr Ibn Amer in the tenth century. It is materialized today by the mausoleum of Imam Al-Hadrami, author of the famous book entitled Al-ichara vi tadbiril imara.
Aoudaghost (more than 1 200 kilometres southeast of Nouakchott), was founded around the fifth century and became, in the Middle Ages, an important commercial centre for the Berbers living on the outskirts of the Ghana Empire. This kingdom made it its capital after having conquered it in 990.
Koumbi Saleh (about 1 200 kilometres south-east of Nouakchott), on the other hand, was only located in 1913, following archaeological excavations. It was considered the political capital of the Ghana Empire from the fourth century and served as a deposit of salt and gold, in connection with North Africa. In the eleventh century, its population was close to 30 000 inhabitants.
The other two sites are two ksours (fortified villages) in the cities of Atar (440 kilometres north of Nouakchott) and Tidjikja (500 kilometres east of Nouakchott).