From the eleventh century BC., Phoenicians began to settle on the Moroccan coast and built the counter Tingi, which became Tangier. The attraction for the region grew with the discovery of precious metals and wood. Then, influenced by the Phoenician culture, different Berber tribes came together to form the Kingdom of Mauretania. Divided into cities, Mauretania had its own army and also had mercenaries. An official language was established for the paperwork and cults. Around the year 25 BC., after the Roman ally, Mauretania became a vassal kingdom. This was the beginning of openness to other cultures of the Mediterranean and the birth of the Mauritanian culture.
In 46 AD, six years after the death of its last king, the kingdom was annexed by Rome and became the province of Mauretania Tingitana. The cities of the province were inspired by Roman infrastructures, with straight avenues, forums, triumphant arches, basilicas and capitols. The largest city had 12,000 inhabitants from all major Mediterranean cultures.
In the third century, the Romans started losing ground in Mauritania, and the country was quickly attached to the diocese of Hispania. A group of Germanic barbarians took advantage of this loss of power to settle in the area where they stayed for more than a century before being expelled by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian. The reconquest was difficult, but the Byzantines still managed to settle around Tangier till the Arab-Muslim conquest in the early eighth century.
Morocco retains traces of its ancient Roman history. The ruins of Volubilis, the archaeological site of Rirha and the ruins of Chellah are for example, part of the remains of those bygone eras.
A little advice from Hertz Morocco : rent a standard car to comfortably drive across Morocco and discover its ancient history.