Ancient Morocco /
Ancient site in northern Morocco, first established as a Phoenician trade post, before passing on to the Carthaginians, then the Romans. It would last well into the Muslim era.
Lixus is located 3 km north of the modern city of Larache, 3 km up the Loukkos River, in from the Atlantic Ocean. The town climbs a 80 metres high hill up from the northern bank of the river.
The main activities of Lixus were fishing and fish processing, producing garum. Salt was also produced here.
The excavated area represents about 20% of the total extent of the ancient city. Two sections can be seen. In the lower, the factories were located. The town, higher up, had a joint theatre and amphitheatre, a bath, the remains of a church and foundations of pre-Roman buildings, though these can really just be made out by experts.
The town was small in size but does have a nice bath, temples and walls which were last rebuilt in the 4th century CE.
Lixus played a part in Greek myths, being linked to Hercules.
"Lixos" is often used for the town in ancient times, but for convenience, "Lixus" is used throughout here.
2nd millennium BCE: The site of Lixus is settled.
Around 1000: Phoenicians take control of the site, establishing a colony here.
Around 146: With the defeat and destruction of Carthage, Lixus passes on to the Romans, who turns it into an imperial colony.
Early 8th century CE: Larache is founded by Arab Muslim invaders. With this begins a troubled coexistence with Lixus, for long remaining a non-Muslim town.
11th century: Lixus appears to have been abandoned.
1948: Excavations are begun at Lixus.
1998: Local children destroy the main mosaics of the Roman bath, those depicting Neptune.