Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Archeological Museum

Sometime in November Noa and I went and found the Rabat Archaeological Museum. It's a small place, but it houses Morocco's largest collection of historical artifacts. Morocco is actually pretty interesting archaeologically; the museum features objects from Neanderthal, Phoenician/Carthaginian, Roman, and Islamic civilisations.

The main hall of the museum. Entry costs 10Dh, or about $1.15.
 Some of the earliest evidence of humanity comes from this region, and there were a few prehistoric displays. There were a few objects from Phoenician traders, but the vast majority of the museum was dedicated to Roman objects.

old stuff
A Roman mosaic
Ancient Roman columns, out in the rain.

The largest Roman settlement here was Volubilis, which we visited at the beginning of November. The museum had a lot of marble busts and statues as well as a whole room full of Roman bronzes. Upstairs was an Islamic-era collection; there were some early Christian artifacts as well as gold coins, astronomical instruments, and other Islamic objects.
One overwhelming feeling was how small and open the place was; we were the only ones there besides the guard outside, a guide who showed us around for a while then left us, and a cat who walked freely inside and out and could have slept in the ancient brazier if it had chosen to. Ancient stone tablets and mosaics were outside in the rain and wind. 

Afterwards we found a real French restaurant nearby. The food was actually French--they served wine and bacon--and all of the diners were French expatriates. We had lunch and crêpes for dessert.

And something completely random I saw in the Medina that day.
For Christmas break we get two full weeks off, and it sounds like AMIDEAST has some fun stuff planned for us. I don't have the itinerary quite yet, but I'm sure there will be all sorts of adventures to write about. Or something like that.

A Friday couscous from a few weeks ago. The white drink is leben, a
fermented yogurt milk sort of thing. It's pretty good.