Located in the oasis of Asrir, 13 km southeast of the city of Guelmim in southern Morocco, the city of Nûl Lamta is renowned as one of the most significant caravan and trading cities of the medieval period. Founded around the 8th century, the city flourished under the Almoravids (11th-12th century) due to its strategic geographical location and the presence of workshops for the production of shields.

A unique fortress

As was often the case in all major cities, Nûl Lamta boasted a large fortress (Âgwîdîr), situated on a rocky hill. From there, it was possible to spot an approaching enemy from kilometers away.

The fortress comprised numerous towers and was surrounded by a wide moat, 3 meters deep, encircling three sides of the wall, along with a coracha. The coracha consisted of two long parallel walls descending to the base of the hill. Its likely function was to protect a water well to ensure access to water during a siege. This ingenious system allowed the city and its inhabitants to maintain a water supply even during a prolonged siege.

The construction materials of this fortress are notable: rammed earth (tâbiya/stamp construction) and bricks (țūb/adobe). To date, few fortifications of this type are known in Morocco, where the most commonly used construction materials for fortifications are rammed earth or masonry of large stones.

The resilience of the bricks against the ravages of time has been demonstrated, as today, nearly a thousand years after their construction, many of these walls still protrude above the landscape. These remnants serve as a reminder that a mighty city once stood in this place.