Qsar Es-Seghir. An Archaeological View of Medieval Life by Charles L. Redman

By Charles L. Redman

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T h e situation in the n o r t h was stabilized by a treaty b e t w e e n t h e P o r t u g u e s e a n d t h e local Muslim rulers, b u t nevertheless. K i n g J o h n felt it necessary, in 1549, to o r d e r t h e construction of a n additional fortress o n t h e Seinal, a p r o m o n ­ tory overlooking t h e site a n d h a r b o r of Q s a r es-Seghir. It is unlikely t h a t this work p r o g r e s s e d very far, because later t h a t year t h e k i n g o r d e r e d the evacuation of t h e civilian p o p u l a t i o n of Alcacer C e g u e r , a n d in 1550, t h e r e m a i n d e r of t h e g a r r i s o n was i n s t r u c t e d to a b a n d o n t h e fort.

I n a d d i t i o n to t h e c e n t r a l institutions t h a t we h y p o t h e s i z e m u s t h a v e existed at t h a t time, t h e r e would h a v e b e e n n e e d for fortifications a n d h o u s i n g a d e q u a t e for t h e THE ISLAMIC DYNASTIES OF THE MAGHREB 29 p e r m a n e n t residents a n d to e n t e r t a i n i m p o r t a n t visitors. 38). T h e earliest p h a s e of t h e m o s q u e a n d c e n t r a l m a r k e t also a p p e a r to b e A l m o h a d . Additionally, t h e r e a r e large quantities of ceramics f r o m t h e early excavation levels t h a t a r e similar to A l m o h a d m a t e r i a l excavated at S p a n i s h sites, d o c u ­ m e n t i n g t h e p r e s e n c e a n d wealth of t h e A l m o h a d residents of Q s a r esSeghir.

It is n o t s u r p r i s i n g t h a t separatist t e n d e n c i e s existed in a n e m p i r e as vast a n d as quickly a s s e m b l e d as t h a t of Islam. T h e key e v e n t for t h e i n d e p e n d e n c e of S p a i n a n d M o r o c c o was t h e fall, in 750, of t h e U m ayyad dynasty in Syria. O n e of t h e U m a y y a d s , A b d R a h m a n , w h o es­ caped t h e n e w Abbasid caliphs in D a m a s c u s , c a m e to S p a i n a n d estab­ lished his o w n dynasty t h e r e in 7 5 6 (Watt 1965).

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