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TINGI (Tangiers) Morocco.

An ancient city of W Mauretania, possibly the Θυμιατήριον of Hanno's Periplus, situated on the outlet of the Straits of Gibraltar on the Atlantic, on the rim of a wide, only moderately sheltered bay. The ruins, which could still be seen in the 11th c. according to the Arabian geographer El Bekri, have been completely covered over by the Casbah and the old quarters of Tangiers, which have never yielded anything more than insignificant archaeological finds.

Legend has it that the city was founded by Antaeus (Pomp. Mela, 1.5; Plin. HN 5.2); in fact, nothing is known of its origins. Yet in the 5th c. B.C. and probably earlier the inhabitants of the hinterland, whose necropoleis have been found from Ras Achakar to Malabata, were in continuous contact with the Punic traders of S Spain. It is possible therefore that a first settlement was built in this period on the Marshan plateau—an acropolis 62 m above the sea—and on the hillsides that slope down to the SW toward what is now the port. Some “Phoenician” tombs are claimed to have been found at several points in the old city and on its immediate outskirts, yet the earliest remains that have been preserved hardly go back beyond the 2d c. B.C. (Marshan necropolis). Tingi appears to have been an autonomous city in this period, minting coins with neo-Punic legends and probably ruled by local dynasties that more or less recognized the authority of the Mauretanian kings. Sertorius seized the city some time in 81, and in 38 its inhabitants, who had sided with Octavius against King Bogud, Anthony's supporter, received Roman citizenship (Dio Cass. 48.45). Called Colonia Iulia Tingi on its coins, governed most likely under Latin law and at first attached administratively to Spain, it became under Claudius a Roman colony and chief city of the province of Mauretania Tingitana after it was set up. In 297 the city probably served Maximianus as a base during his campaign against the Moorish rebels, and it was very likely about this time that the Christians Marcellus and Cassienus were put to death. The former belonged to a Spanish community, the latter, however, probably to a local church which funerary inscriptions show existed in the 4th-5th c. although there is no mention of a bishopric until the 6th c.

The limits of the ancient settlement are clearly marked by the necropoleis discovered to the NW (that of Marshan and Avenue Cenario), to the W (Mendoubia) and S (Bou Kachkach). Nothing remains of the substructures, which could still be seen on the seashore at the beginning of the century. There were also some baths underneath the Casbah, and confused remains of a monument—apparently a Christian basilica—have been uncovered in the Rue de Belgique. So far as the rest of the city is concerned one can only presume that the forum was situated on the site of the Petit Socco and what was perhaps a temple on the site of the Great Mosque, and that the decumanus maximus corresponded roughly to the Zenga Es Siaghine. Among the few antiquities that have been discovered, the only noteworthy finds, aside from inscriptions and a few mosaic fragments, are a statue of a woman of indifferent workmanship and a mutilated head of the emperor Galba.

Several agricultural estates and brick-making works from the Imperial period have been located in the suburbs and hinterland.


E. Michaux-Bellaire, Tanger et sa zone (1921); A. Beltrán, “Las monedas de Tingi y las problemas que su estudio plantea,” Numario hispánico 1 (1952) 89-114; R. Thouvenot, “Les origines chrétiennes en Maurétanie tingitane,” REA 71 (1969) 368-69; M. Ponsich, Recherches archéologiques à Tanger et dans sa région (1970)MPI.


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