Frank Kintz

“Al-barak Allah” (the traditional blessing of God) was inscribed on this 11th-century A.D. vase recently unearthed in Sijilmasa. Sijilmasan merchants arranged caravans to transport such luxury ware across the Sahara to southern commercial entrepôts such as Timbuctu.

Over the past 14 years, a team headed by Middle Tennessee State University archaeologist Ronald A. Messier has uncovered more and more traces of Sijilmasa’s former grandeur, including the ruins of a grand mosque, government palace, public baths and cisterns.