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TAMUDA (Tetuan) Morocco.

City of Mauretania Tingitana, 5 km SW of Tetuan on the right bank of the homonymous river, today called the wadi Martin. Its name is mentioned by Pliny (HN 5.2), who considers Tamuda a pre-Roman oppidum, and is confirmed by the neo-Punic legends of local coins and, in Roman times, by an inscription. Between 1921 and 1958 the remains of a pre-Roman city were unearthed, as well as a castellum dating from the Roman period.

The pre-Roman settlement, which covers 4 ha, seems to have been founded at the beginning of the 2d c. B.C. First laid waste about 38 B.C. in the struggle between Bogud and Bocchus, Mauretanian rulers, it was destroyed and abandoned a century later, in A.D. 40-41, in the course of the revolts that followed Ptolemy's assassination and the Roman annexation of the Mauretanian kingdom.

Its regular grid plan plainly shows Hellenistic influence, but the organization of the city is unclear; no trace has yet been found of any public monument, civil or religious; all that can be seen is a great rectangular piazza in the S part of the city. Most of the buildings that have been excavated are houses and, very probably, shops. The outer walls of the houses were of mud or unburnt brick on systematically built foundations of stones, sometimes large blocks. The internal partitions are less clear, and the distribution of the rooms uncertain and irregular. There are no traces of peristyles or atria, and it would be more accurate to compare the plans of these houses with those of the pre-Roman houses of Lixus than those of Kerkouane in Tunisia. There is no true city wall: except toward the W, the walls around the built-up area do not seem to have had any defensive value. This is surprising so close to the Rif mountains and indicates that the region was relatively peaceful. A necropolis has been located and partly excavated to the W.

The material unearthed in the course of this digging is abundant but lacking in variety. Except for a bronze statuette of Bacchus, it generally consists of everyday or votive pottery in the Punic tradition, imported Roman vases or local imitations, and coins—Numidian, Mauretanian Iberian or, more rarely, Roman. Among them is an important series with neo-Punic inscriptions from Tamuda.

Contemporary settlements have been discovered in the valley of the wadi Martin, notably at Kitzan, SE of Tetuan, and at Sidi Abdeselam del Behar near the mouth of the river.

A castellum 80 m square was built in the 2d c. A.D. on the ruins of the pre-Roman city of Tamuda, then modified in the 3d c. by the addition of exterior, semicircular towers. This is recognized as the Tamuco camp of the Notitia Dignitatum (occ. 26), which was occupied by the ala Herculaea. Some indeterminate buildings to be seen on the fringe of the camp date from the same period. The main necropolis was towards the W, on the site of the pre-Roman one, but other scattered tombs have been located all around the camp and fairly far to the SE.


Alta Comisaria de España en Marruecos, Delegación de Educación y Cultura, Excavaciones en Tamuda nos. 2, 5-10 (1941-48)MPI; M. Tarradell, “Estado actual de los conocimientos sobre Tamuda y resultados de la campaña de 1948,” Archivo Español de Arqueologia (1949) 86-100; “Las excavaciones de Tamuda de 1949 a 1955,” Tamuda 4 (1956) 71-85; “Breve noticia sobre las excavaciones realizadas en Tamuda y Lixus en 1958,” Tamuda 6 (1958) 378-79; Marruecos Punico (1960) 97-119MPI.


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  • Cross-references from this page (1):
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 5.2
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